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High hedges

Trees and hedges are an integral and vital part of our environment. Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gives South Derbyshire District Council power to deal with complaints about high hedges.

Trees and hedges are an integral and vital part of our environment that are just as important locally as they are globally. South Derbyshire contains many trees that not only take the form of woods and hedgerows in rural areas but also the trees that line our streets, populate our parks and public spaces and stand in our gardens too. They provide homes for birds and insects and help keep our air clean.

In a very limited number of instances, high growing hedges are used as a way to intimidate and aggravate neighbour disputes.  Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gives local authorities power to deal with complaints about high hedges. Provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute, you will be able to submit your complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to the Environmental Health section of the district council. 

The council will insist that you provide evidence that you have attempted to resolve your concerns with your neighbour.

If you can answer 'yes' to all of the following questions, and you have exhausted all avenues to resolve the matter amicably, then please contact us using the details provided at bottom of the page or fill in the electronic form.  The charge for this service is 210 (for the financial year 2013-14).

  • Is the hedge more than two metres above ground level?
  • Does the hedge form a line of two or more trees or shrubs?
  • Are the trees which form the hedge mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen (some green leaves throughout the year)?
  • Even though there may be gaps in the foliage or between the trees, is the hedge still capable of obstructing light or views?
  • Are you the owner or occupier of the property affected by the hedge?
  • Is your property residential?

Our decision about whether to use the powers in the Act are dependant on legal guidance issued to support the Act.

The Office for the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) published statutory guidance on the way of determining if a hedge is a high hedge under the terms of the Act.

The ODPM has also published a simple guide about how to complain and the legal processes involved in making and determining a complaint.

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Environmental Services
Civic Offices
Civic Way
Swadlincote
Derbyshire
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595795
Fax: 01283 595855
Online: contact form

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