6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

BeechTooTall
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by BeechTooTall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm

Hi. We are buying a house which is still being built by the developer.

Approximately 4 metres from the front of the house is the neighbour’s boundary consisting of a beech hedge currently standing at around 6 metres high.

If you imagine you’re looking straight out of our front door, so in a North North East direction, the hedge runs from left (West) to right (East) past the entire width of the front of our house passing the dining/kitchen window to the right of the front door and entrance hall window, and past the full length of our garden which runs along the right side of the house.

The rear of the neighbour’s house is approximately 20metres from the hedge in the centre of their plot.

At it’s current height of 6 metres, it is blocking out natural light from our ground windows, particularly in the dining room / kitchen.

When we initially made an offer for the house, the plans showed that the hedges were part of our boundary. It’s since transpired that they’re not. Regardless of the situation and the outcome, we will be completing the purchase and given the fluidity of boundaries on new developments, I don’t believe there’s any point in or need to make issue of the discrepancy with the developer. We can choose to buy it or not in light of the change, and we choose to buy it.

The developer has said he will speak to the neighbour and ask them if they would agree to have the beech hedge cut to 1.8m and then maintained at no more than 2m. Given when we made the offer we had been led to believe the hedge was ours, we have asked him to make clear that we would be more than happy to pay the costs of trimming the top and our side as we would have to have done had it indeed been ours, but that we would also not have it trimmed on future occasions without first gaining the neighbour’s permission.

Because of the distance of the neighbours house from the hedge, keeping the hedge at no more than 2 metres high would mean the neighbours retain their currently obscured view of our ground floor windows, but it would give exponentially more natural light into the front of our house and into the garden.

My question is, if after initial and further negotiations they refuse to allow the hedge to be trimmed to such a level, or not be willing to trim it at all, would be successful pursuing a case through the local authority system?

As beech is neither an evergreen nor a partial evergreen, I think their maybe some question as to whether the LA can ultimately, if all else fails, order it to be trimmed.

However, if I understand correctly, they can make orders where ANY tree or hedge, whether deciduous or evergreen is causing what they consider to be an unreasonable nuisance to a neighbouring property.

Any help with this would be much appreciated - I really hope our new neighbours will be willing to agree as we’d really like an amicable relationship from the get-go!

Collaborate
Posts: 1554
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by Collaborate » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:02 pm

You're wrong I'm afraid. The ASBO legislation only applies to evergreen hedges.

BeechTooTall
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by BeechTooTall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:13 pm

Collaborate wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:02 pm
You're wrong I'm afraid. The ASBO legislation only applies to evergreen hedges.
OK. Accepted - Whilst the High Hedge legislation isn't relevant, what would be the best process to resolve if discussion and mediation didn't work?
Although it's a deciduous hedge it would still be causing a nuisance by being allowed to grow to a height that caused it to block out light, thereby interfering with the enjoyment of neighbouring properties by their owners.

APC
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:37 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by APC » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:56 pm

Are you Scotland or England?

despair
Posts: 16301
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by despair » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:54 pm

If the hedge is at the bottom of the neighbours garden i very very much doubt they will agree to reduce its height and likely do not want to see your house
Do not believe a word any developer ever tells you

alyson
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:43 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 10
Number of topics per page: 10
Location: Wales

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by alyson » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:24 pm

BeechTooTall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm
Hi. We are buying a house which is still being built by the developer.

Approximately 4 metres from the front of the house is the neighbour’s boundary consisting of a beech hedge currently standing at around 6 metres high.

If you imagine you’re looking straight out of our front door, so in a North North East direction, the hedge runs from left (West) to right (East) past the entire width of the front of our house passing the dining/kitchen window to the right of the front door and entrance hall window, and past the full length of our garden which runs along the right side of the house.

The rear of the neighbour’s house is approximately 20metres from the hedge in the centre of their plot.

At it’s current height of 6 metres, it is blocking out natural light from our ground windows, particularly in the dining room / kitchen.

When we initially made an offer for the house, the plans showed that the hedges were part of our boundary. It’s since transpired that they’re not. Regardless of the situation and the outcome, we will be completing the purchase and given the fluidity of boundaries on new developments, I don’t believe there’s any point in or need to make issue of the discrepancy with the developer. We can choose to buy it or not in light of the change, and we choose to buy it.

The developer has said he will speak to the neighbour and ask them if they would agree to have the beech hedge cut to 1.8m and then maintained at no more than 2m. Given when we made the offer we had been led to believe the hedge was ours, we have asked him to make clear that we would be more than happy to pay the costs of trimming the top and our side as we would have to have done had it indeed been ours, but that we would also not have it trimmed on future occasions without first gaining the neighbour’s permission.

Because of the distance of the neighbours house from the hedge, keeping the hedge at no more than 2 metres high would mean the neighbours retain their currently obscured view of our ground floor windows, but it would give exponentially more natural light into the front of our house and into the garden.

My question is, if after initial and further negotiations they refuse to allow the hedge to be trimmed to such a level, or not be willing to trim it at all, would be successful pursuing a case through the local authority system?

As beech is neither an evergreen nor a partial evergreen, I think their maybe some question as to whether the LA can ultimately, if all else fails, order it to be trimmed.

However, if I understand correctly, they can make orders where ANY tree or hedge, whether deciduous or evergreen is causing what they consider to be an unreasonable nuisance to a neighbouring property.

Any help with this would be much appreciated - I really hope our new neighbours will be willing to agree as we’d really like an amicable relationship from the get-go!
Look at it from their point of view:
The hedge,trees where there before the developer even thought of building your house, they are losing their privacy as there is now a house where once there was none, you have not even moved in yet and you want them to alter their garden?
You bought what you saw, you do have some cheek asking them to accommodate your wishes.
I know what my answer would be, the last word would be “off” and the comment could possibly allude to censored and travel..

ukmicky
Posts: 4785
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by ukmicky » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:57 pm

In England there is nothing you can do legally to force them to reduce its height even if in summer it blocked 95 percent of the sunlight. You only way forward is a very polite conversation with them but if they reject your request then move on.


In scotland deciduous trees come under there legislation which was why APC asked the question where you live.
Last edited by ukmicky on Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

alyson
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:43 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 10
Number of topics per page: 10
Location: Wales

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by alyson » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:00 pm

ukmicky wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:57 pm
There is nothing you can do legally to force them to reduce its height even if in summer it blocked 95 percent of the sunlight. You only way forward is a very polite conversation with them but if they reject your request then move on.
That’s what I meant really.......

arborlad
Posts: 7879
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by arborlad » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:51 am

BeechTooTall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm


When we initially made an offer for the house, the plans showed that the hedges were part of our boundary. It’s since transpired that they’re not.


When you have a new property adjoining an older property, with an established boundary feature between them, the boundary feature will almost always be in the ownership of the older property.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

MacadamB53
Posts: 6375
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by MacadamB53 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:47 am

Hi BeechTooTall,

a 6m tall hedge at the bottom of a south-facing garden?!?

what a waste...

kind regards, Mac

mugwump
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:34 pm

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by mugwump » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:03 am

Not if it's there as a privacy screen

mr sheen
Posts: 2230
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by mr sheen » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:55 pm

the written contract and plans are the only relevant info...whatever sales patter you were given is then irrelevant and you make it clear that with full knowledge that you don't own the hedge/trees, you choose to proceed and buy a property with a 6m high trees owned by a neighbour and over which you have zero control....that is the choice you are making. Your neighbour chose to have trees 6m high..that was their choice and remains their choice. In England and Wales, you cannot insist that a neighbour reduces the height of their trees.

Since it is you who are entering into this purchase in full knowledge of your lack of ownership of said trees, any hassle with the neighbour will be of your making since they are just exercising their rights to trees and you are buying what you see.

APC
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:37 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by APC » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:12 pm

mr sheen wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:55 pm
the written contract and plans are the only relevant info...whatever sales patter you were given is then irrelevant and you make it clear that with full knowledge that you don't own the hedge/trees, you choose to proceed and buy a property with a 6m high trees owned by a neighbour and over which you have zero control....that is the choice you are making. Your neighbour chose to have trees 6m high..that was their choice and remains their choice. In England and Wales, you cannot insist that a neighbour reduces the height of their trees.

Since it is you who are entering into this purchase in full knowledge of your lack of ownership of said trees, any hassle with the neighbour will be of your making since they are just exercising their rights to trees and you are buying what you see.
Pretty much what we were all thinking!

jdfi
Posts: 547
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:39 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by jdfi » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:32 pm

House sounds like it is unsellable.

If you cut it down you risk court action.

arborlad
Posts: 7879
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: 6 Metre Beech Hedge Blocking Light

Post by arborlad » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:43 am

jdfi wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:32 pm
House sounds like it is unsellable.


Doubt it, as the new property is South of the hedge and the OP (who hasn't returned) is overstating any potential issues.



MacadamB53 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:47 am
Hi BeechTooTall,

a 6m tall hedge at the bottom of a south-facing garden?!?

what a waste...

kind regards, Mac


To answer that you'd really need to know what the new development replaced............
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Post Reply