high hedges legistlation

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seawitch
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high hedges legistlation

Post by seawitch » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:59 pm

high hedges legistlation, what does everyone here think of it? does it go far enough? was it rushed through too quickly and what about those fees the council are charging??

interested in what everyone thinks on the subject

despair
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Post by despair » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:31 pm

The High Hedges Bill certainly was not rushed through but in the end it was tinkered with by the OPDM to make it virtually unworkable

Both by the high fees many councils are charging plus the sneaky clause the OPDM slipped in that means Councils cannot order the hedge to be reduced by more than a 1/3rd or any work that would kill the hedge

So in the 6 years it took to get the law in many hedges had grown 18ft and theres little relief in prospect for the long suffering neighbours

Although down south quite a few leylandii hedges are looking very stressed due i suspect the years of drought

Conveyancer
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Post by Conveyancer » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:15 am

The idea that hedges may not be reduced by more than one-third is incorrect. The guidelines say:

Removal includes action that would result in the death or destruction of the hedge. This will depend on the species of the shrubs or trees in the hedge, their age and health. For example, healthy Leyland cypress hedges will usually respond well to a reduction of up to one-third of their height. On the other hand, taking too much from the top of such a hedge might result in the death of older or less vigorous trees. Care also needs to be taken with conifers not to cut back into older leafless branches, as new growth will not appear from bare wood. Councils are, therefore, advised to obtain arboricultural input when framing the requirements of a remedial notice.

I don't see anything sneaky in that.

despair
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Post by despair » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:19 am

Conveyancer

The bit you quote was only put in to the working section of the bill well after it had been passed and literally just weeks before the bill was put into action

There was no consultation with Hedgeline etc who had campaigned so hard to even get a High Hedges bill

The difficulty this poses is that a 40 ft high hedge cannot be reduced to less than about 29ft which of course would still be a real problem for many

but I believe its the level of fees that some councils are charging which is causing much of the distress to victims to even start with

Conveyancer
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Post by Conveyancer » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:05 am

despair wrote:The bit you quote was only put in to the working section of the bill well after it had been passed and literally just weeks before the bill was put into action
This is the normal way of proceeding. An act is passed. The government produces guidelines. The act is brought into force.
despair wrote:There was no consultation with Hedgeline etc who had campaigned so hard to even get a High Hedges bill
I do not know if that is the case. If it is, I suspect the government felt that over the years Hedgeline had made its views perfectly clear.

There is some inconsistency in Hedgelines statements. Compare:

This is the best possible news for tens of thousands of hedge victims

with

A very small percentage of hedges will qualify for scrutiny as most people are careful not to destroy their neighbours' amenity.

Hedgeline is a group that has achieved its object and should wind up its activities. They have got so used to campaigning that they are now doing it out of habit.
despair wrote:The difficulty this poses is that a 40 ft high hedge cannot be reduced to less than about 29ft which of course would still be a real problem for many
As explained, there is no guideline saying that a hedge can only be reduced by a third, just a statement that a healthy leylandii can be reduced by a third without harm. There is also nothing to prevent a remedial notice from requiring a reduction in stages.
despair wrote:but I believe its the level of fees that some councils are charging which is causing much of the distress to victims to even start with
That is true enough. It is however normal for councils to charge fees where they provide services that benefit individuals rather than the community at large. Remember that having a high hedge is not any sort of crime or tort.

On the whole the legislation and the guidelines achieve a reasonable balance between the hedge owner and his neighbour. No government is going to pass legislation that effectively bans hedges - they are far too traditional a feature of gardens.

seawitch
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Post by seawitch » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:29 pm

i don't agree that hedgeline only now campaign out of habit, who would do that?? we all have other things to do.

i also think that the legistlation is not very helpful. we all like to see trees, hedges and want to make our gardnes as nice as possible. BUT not many of us have a gazallion acres of land to grow 50ft hedges, large willow or chestnut trees on. most of us have a garden the size of a piece of A5 paper and are surrounded by houses with the same. so we have to be sensible and show consideration for our neighbours. Sadly there are a lot of people out there who dont give XXXX about their neighbours and quite a few who go out of their way to create problems. this is why we need legistlation, given the effects a high hedge and tall tree can have do feel that they should require planning permission if they grow over a certain height.

no one wants to stop people from planting trees and hedges, we all love them, but as always there are some people who refuse to play nice, thats why we need a law

Conveyancer
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Post by Conveyancer » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:21 pm

There are apparently some countries that have laws about how high you can grow trees in a garden. It is just too late to introduce such a law in the UK. It would create havoc in leafy suburbs and planning departments would be inundated.

Royal Sussex
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high hedge legislation

Post by Royal Sussex » Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:26 pm

Do you have a hedge, or are you you affected by the recent legislation dealing with high hedges? If so I would be very interested in hearing your views on the topic. For example has somebody complained to the Council about your hedge or have you made a complaint to the Council about your neighbours hedge. In either case any information you are able to share on how you feel your case is being dealt with, or was dealt with, would be very much appreciated, as would any views or comments on the legislation. If you prefer not to post here you may email me via thebandmaster@aol.com. Many thanks.

Susie T
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Post by Susie T » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:50 pm

Hello Royal Sussex,
I have a hedge that the builders planted when the house was built in 1987.
The hedge, I can only assume, (Stranvaesia, I believe) was planted to eventually hide the side of our garage, which runs parallel with the road. The shrubs are not very dense but are about 20' high. They overhang the public footpath but are kept at about 10' above. (As council advice) I also trim them back from the road! The end shrub borders our neighbours driveway, and when we moved here 15 years ago I told them that I would keep the shrub cut back. (I think I would get the 'ump if my neighbours trees dropped berrys over my drive in the spring!) I have never had to do this, though, not because I didn't want to or couldn't be bothered, but because the neighbours cut back every single piece of new growth before it reached the boundary. I was fine with this as it saved me a job. However, when the neighbours began hacking back 3-6' from the boundary, branches three inches in diameter I wasn't too pleased, but this has stopped because the police became involved in a dispute (long story!) and they were told to stop doing it.
The shrubs cant be seen from neighbours house. She hates them because she said they are untidy! She can only see them as she drives past them and above our garage roof from her back garden.
Mrs neighbour has since complained to the council about the shrubbs.
I had a visit last week from the council warden.
He was a sweetie. He has looked at the shrubs and asked us to cut a 2' channel around the lamp post so the shrubbs don't obscure the light! (No they don't! But it will make it easier for the maintenance men to do their job.) That's all. He said otherwise the shrubs were fine, no problem.
My neighbour is going to be miffed. She wants the whole lot out. She will cause more hassle because she isn't going to get what she wants.
Don't it drive you nuts!


Susie T.

Alien
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Post by Alien » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:14 pm

This legislation would not be necessary if there were fewer selfish neighbours in Britain!

despair
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Post by despair » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:22 pm

Alien

Consideration for others went out the window years ago when "privacy" became the buzzword of the day and neighbours stopped talking to each other over the garden fence and swapping everything from outgrown clothes to spare veggies

Alien
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Post by Alien » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:27 pm

Well... our neighbours on the other side couldn't be nicer! We have long chats about this and that over our 5 ft fence, they give us eggs and veg from their garden, or babies play together (we've only been here a few months!).

One shouldn't generalise, but one tends to whenever one encounters an individual as selfish and uncommunicative as the neighbour on the other side!

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