The Council is able to consider complaints about high hedges under the new powers provided by Section 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. Provided all other ways of resolving their hedge disputes have been tried and exhausted, people can take their complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to the City Council.
The Council is only able to consider complaints that fulfil all of the following criteria:
The roll of the Council is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner, but to adjudicate on whether, the hedge, by reason of its height, is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. This in most cases will be where a hedge is creating a loss of light to another property. The Council will determine an appropriate height for an evergreen hedge where agreement could not be reached between neighbours.
Further information and publications regarding high hedges may be found on the Communities and Local Government website.
The Council is only able to get involved as a last resort and the person making the complaint will have to demonstrate that they have already done everything they reasonably could to settle a dispute.
If the Council considers the circumstances justify it, it will issue a formal notice outlining what action should be taken to remedy the problem and to prevent it recurring. Failure to comply with the notice would be an offence. The Council also has powers to go in and do the work themselves, recovering the costs from the hedge owner.
Please note that:
The Council has produced a hedge complaint form and notes below. If you are satisfied that the criteria for making a complaint are met, please contact the form and return it to:
Public Health and Environmental Protection, Newcastle City Council, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8PB
A fee will be charged for dealing with the complaint. Payment should be sent by cheque (payable to the City of Newcastle upon Tyne) or postal order with your completed complaint form.
To make a complaint about high hedges use the complaint form.
Page last updated: 16 March, 2012