High hedges

We have powers to intervene in disputes over high hedges and dangerous trees, but only as a last resort if you have exhausted all other avenues for resolving the issue.

Our role is not to mediate or negotiate, but to decide whether a hedge is impacting someone’s reasonable enjoyment of their property, including due to height and loss of light.

If appropriate, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner, setting out what they must do and when. Failure to carry out the works could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

Please note, there is a fee for this service, as required under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The fee has been set at £350 and is designed to mitigate the impact on our resources and deter frivolous or vexatious complaints. We encourage people to try and resolve high hedge issues amicably and directly, without the involvement of the council if possible.

If you do want to pursue a formal complaint, please use this high hedges complaint form.

General information about high hedge legislation

  • Does not apply to single or deciduous trees and hedges – this is because problems generally relate to evergreen hedges
  • Does not require all hedges to be cut to two metres in height
  • Permission is not needed to grow a hedge above two metres
  • We cannot require that a hedge is removed altogether
  • Does not guarantee uninterrupted light
  • There is no process for reclaiming fees from the hedge owner or the council

If you have a planning concern relating to trees, please visit our trees webpage.