High Hedges - define shrub & other advice please

High Hedges - define shrub & other advice please

Postby jon0911 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:02 pm

I will be grateful for any guidance or thoughts

My neighbours have a large house in approx 1 acre. Their house is 30m from our boundary.

our gable end of our house is just 2m from the boundary and faces south

boundary is probably 50m long in total

at the closest point to our property they have planted one leylandi - which if allowed to grow unrestricted will take massive amount of light from our property.

As i understand it under High Hedges law ... part of Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003 ... can be used if they allow evergreen "hedge" on boundary to grow more than 2m.

a hedge is defined as 2 or more evergreens....trees or shrubs as i understand it

Next to the leyandi is some bamboo.... and I think bamboo is classified as a shrub?

So in my view I may be able to use the law if necessary? Of course i plan to talk to them first and hope this will not go pear shaped but fear that their actions already say they are not looking for compromise.
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Re: High Hedges - define shrub & other advice please

Postby despair » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:15 pm


No it has to be 2 evergreen trees like leylandi or other truly evergreen shrubs to form a hedge

bamboo is designated a grass and does not fall under high hedge law
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Re: High Hedges - define shrub & other advice please

Postby jon0911 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:41 pm

ok thanks!

I found confirmation on the RHS & CLG sites so must accept that! As a general comment .... one of the reasons for my posting was that sometimes i find district (and county) councils give 'guidance' etc that is not necessarily correct so always recommend checking and double checking any such 'advice' or 'guidance'

In my particular situation i will probably make clear to the neighbour that their tree may be legally ok... but if they want good screening and neighbourly relations along the rest of the boundary they will need to be sensible and keep it to a reasonable height. They rely on much screening grown on my boundary - that i can simply remove if we are all going to be bloody minded. Time will tell!
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Re: High Hedges - define shrub & other advice please

Postby Alan Harris » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:57 am

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) what someone does within their own land is not normally controlled by their neighbour. Maybe's and what may happen eventually if a tree is allowed to grow without being pruned is well beyond any action by the party who does not own the tree. The high hedges legislation was only intended to refer to tall screen type hedges of evergreen trees and not to singletons or even pairs of trees. Judges tend to be sensible and do not bend legislation to fit individual concerns and they rather try to put themselves into the position of the legislator and try to decide what circumstances were intended to be covered by the wording - not how can the wording be stretched to cover something which was not intended. I am not sure why the High Hedges act was limited to evergreens as other hedges (e.g. copper beech) can be equally dense. Nevertheless the act only included evergreens and so was not intended to apply, for instance, to bamboos.

best regards

Alan Harris
Alan is a consulting engineer specialising in subsidence, tree roots, soils and party wall surveying.
Alan Harris
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