The Current Position
Part 8 of the
Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which gives local authorities
powers to deal with complaints about high hedges came into
operation in England on 1 June 2005.
Provided you have tried and
exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge
dispute, you will be able to take your complaint about a
neighbour's evergreen hedge to South Staffordshire Council.
The role of South Staffordshire
Council is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant
and the hedge owner but to adjudicate on whether - in the words of
the Act - the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's
reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so, we must take
account of all relevant factors and must strike a balance between
the competing interests of the complainant and hedge owner, as well
as the interests of the wider community.
If we consider the
circumstances justify it, South Staffordshire
Council will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which
will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem,
and when by. Failure to carry out the works required by
the Council is an offence which, on prosecution, could lead to
a fine of up to £1,000.
Cutting the tall stories down to size
Guidance on how you can agree a
solution about problem high hedges, including a complaint
form and notes, are available to download below.
Telephone: (01902) 696422
Fax: (01902) 696705