Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:39 pm

Hi VG,

sorry if this question sounds dumb, but do these trees definitely qualify as a "high hedge" as per the legislation?
do they form an unbroken wall of foliage from close-to-ground level? or are the first eg 2m trunks only?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby VelvetGreen » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:50 pm

Hi Mac,
That's an interesting point that I haven't come across. Mostly, with the exception of some thin, sparse, green twigs, these trees are trunk from base to around 2m. Certainly on my side. On the field side there are more low level branches with foliage.

VG
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby arsie » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Ok VelvetGreen, so an average of your two figures for SSE would be 5.325m I make it.

If your developer asks you to reduce the height, I would offer 7m.

This would make 1.675m (about 5.5 feet) available in a 'high hedges' action to a householder. At house prices you mention the fee for bringing the action will be a not insignificant sum - akin to a new TV and more than an iPhone (not that anyone pays outright!) - and the gain not huge.

7m is for the 3m the land rises beyond you +4m for the two floors of the houses so they can't see into your property from an upstairs window. There may be other lie of the land details affecting what height you go for. Again though I would want to control the job myself ...
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:36 pm

Hi VG,

here is the definition of a 'high hedge' as set out in the ASB Act 2003:

(1)In this Part “high hedge” means so much of a barrier to light or access as—
(a)is formed wholly or predominantly by a line of two or more evergreens; and
(b)rises to a height of more than two metres above ground level.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) a line of evergreens is not to be regarded as forming a barrier to light or access if the existence of gaps significantly affects its overall effect as such a barrier at heights of more than two metres above ground level.
(3)In this section “evergreen” means an evergreen tree or shrub or a semi-evergreen tree or shrub.


what is the spacing between individual trees?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby VelvetGreen » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:54 am

Hi Mac,
The spacing between trees at a height of 1.5m, between centre of the trunks varies from approx 0.8m to 1.5m. At heights above 2 metres, the spread of each tree overlaps the spread of the next.

The trees' foliage is not overly dense, there are gaps across the whole length and height. I would estimate that 70%-80% of light is blocked at heights above 2 metres and ~40% light blocked from base to 2m.

VG
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:04 am

Hi VG,

can I ask - what type(s) are we talking about?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby VelvetGreen » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:48 pm

Hi Mac,
We don't know for sure.
We had the trees surveyed when we bought the house and the surveyor recorded them as "Cupressus Macrocarpa".

However we have receipts from the previous owner's pruning which listed them as Firs and Cypress (there is only one species as far as I can tell). The recent Tree Survey for the planning application identifies them as Leylandii.
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby arsie » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:09 pm

A gap under the trees isn't important but I'd say 80% dense foliage is an effective light blocker.

But talk of percentages/measurement is wasted unless legislation allows local authorities to take it into account. I would be surprised if they do. Does anyone know?

The BRE has been a successful provider of straightforward guidelines from science, investigation and research for decades. It would be a brave - and shortly unemployed - local authority officer who took liberties with their rules. I have guessed he/she 'might' allow a few feet of liberty on height (but I really don't know for sure) on the basis that every case is different and they are 'the front line' 'men on the ground' and may exercise a little discretion but I would be willing to bet good money they won't dare budge on the calculations.

edit:
Monterey cypress (macrocarpa) are yellowy green, Leylandii dark green. Both come under the 'high hedges' legislation both being conifers so it doesn't really matter who is correct or not.
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby VelvetGreen » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:22 pm

Who are BRE?

I wouldn't describe the colour as yellow/green. It is closer to the colour of grass with some hints of blue/green.
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby arsie » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:32 pm

VelvetGreen wrote:Who are BRE?

I wouldn't describe the colour as yellow/green. It is closer to the colour of grass with some hints of blue/green.

Sounds like your surveyor was right then :)

BRE is the Buildings Research Establishment. They wrote the hedge height calculation document - see page 3, the author is Paul J Littlefair, BRE Watford - which we have both been reading and quoting:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9408/hedgeheight.pdf
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:55 pm

Hi VG,

whichever they are, at 40ft tall and just 1m apart all I can think is "wow, that must look AWFUL". (sorry)

I'm afraid I cannot fathom why you've begun this thread as it is beyond me why you're not asking how to get the trees sorted rather than asking how to make sure things stay as is.

I'm out.

All the best, Mac
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby arsie » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:58 pm

Mac,
as I read things the OP is neutral as to what he wants. My counsel is to minimise loss and reduce his trees to 7m (21 feet). I agree 40 foot must look awful but who asked a developer to turn a green field into houses right up tight against these trees? Money talks :roll:
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby mr sheen » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:48 pm

Massive high conifer hedges are no doubt a nuisance and there will undoubtedly be complaints by new neighbours, since this hedge is already on the radar as a nuisance to the community and even according to OP estimation blocks out approx 80% of light.

The owner of this HH will be seen by the whole area as the NFH.
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby jdfi » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:19 pm

mr sheen wrote:Massive high conifer hedges are no doubt a nuisance and there will undoubtedly be complaints by new neighbours, since this hedge is already on the radar as a nuisance to the community and even according to OP estimation blocks out approx 80% of light.

The owner of this HH will be seen by the whole area as the NFH.

Sadly Mr sheen is correct. Given the various housing problems in this country, people need to be housed near the HH.
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Re: Multiple High Hedge Complaints

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:11 am

Well it's only our opinions but I disagree. The OP is suddenly a monster because a developer wants to build too close - and on a green field site at that? Trees become 'too high' because a money grubbing developer flies by? I would be boiling over.

Best the OP fights a rear guard action and offers to reduce the height if asked.
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