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High hedges: complaining to the council

What to do to try and resolve a problem with a neighbour's high hedge and how make a formal complaint to us if you need to.

The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may bring problems.

The wrong hedge - and what to do about it

If you are troubled by someone else's hedge, the best way to deal with the issue is to talk to them about it. Calling us in or going to court, especially without first approaching your neighbour yourself, might make matters worse.

You can find guidance on how to settle your hedge differences without involving us on GOV.UK.

If you are reluctant to meet your neighbour, 'shuttle mediation' may be available. This involves a mediator going between you and your neighbour, explaining your needs and suggestions to one another until a solution is found.

The Civil Mediation directory on GOV.UK lists local civil mediation providers.

Complaining to us

If you still can't come to an agreement about the hedge, you can complain to us.

We can deal with your complaint if you've:

  • taken all reasonable steps to try to sort the problem
  • kept a record of what you've done to try to resolve the problem
  • written to your neighbour to let them know what you are going to do

You can complain about a hedge if it is:

  • growing on land owned or occupied by someone else
  • made up of a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs
  • mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen
  • more than 2 metres tall
  • a barrier to light or access (even if there are gaps)

There is guidance on what complaints we can consider and how we will deal with them on GOV.UK

Make complaint

You can make a complaint about a high hedge by completing and returning a PDF  form to us. You can refer to the guidance note for help filling in the complaint.

High hedges complaint form (PDF) [329KB]

High Hedges guidance notes for completing the complaint form (PDF) [474KB]

Complaint fee

You'll need to pay us a high hedges complaint fee. Find the correct fee on our planning pre-application advice page.

With your complaint

When you make your complaint you will also need to send us:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • the name and address of the person who owns the property
  • a photograph of the hedge
  • a location plan of the hedge and surrounding properties
  • copies of correspondence with your neighbour about the hedge
  • any other evidence you wish to include