High hedges

A high hedge must:

  • be more than two meters tall (from ground level)
  • be made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs
  • be mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen
  • not have any large gaps in it
  • be blocking light to your home or garden.

Please be aware that high hedge complaints are subject to a £200 handling fee.

High hedge dispute advice

Before making a complaint to us about a high hedge, you must attempt to sort out the problem yourself, such as:

  • speaking or writing to your neighbour about the hedge and how its affecting the enjoyment of your home or garden. You should be able to evidence that you've written to your neighbour at least once in the past four months to try to resolve the issue
  • consulting with a third party, such as a mediator. A mediator may be able to negotiate an appropriate outcome by discussing the problem between the two parties.

You can find useful information on the GOV.UK website about handling high hedge disputes

Complain about a high hedge

If you would like to submit a high hedge complaint to us, please email planning.enforcement@sholland.gov.uk or call 01775 764703 to request a high hedge complaint form and the guidance notes. As part of the complaint, please be aware that you'll need to provide:

  • evidence that you've tried to resolve the problem yourself
  • a site plan that has the hedge clearly marked on it. The plan should be to scale and show the site and hedge measurements
  • payment of £200. 

To make payment, please call the planning support team on 01775 764723 during normal office hours. Alternatively, please send a cheque with the completed form to the following address:

South Holland District Council
Planning Support Team
Council Offices
Priory Road
PE11 2XE

How we investigate high hedge complaints

Our Planning Enforcement team will review your complaint and verify the details provided. We will also carry out an investigation of the site and will give site owners a minimum of 24 hours notice before a site visit takes place.

We will then consider all the evidence gathered about the complaint and decide whether the hedge needs to be reduced in height or whether the current height is acceptable. We will send each party a report setting out the reasons for our decision.

Supported high hedge complaints

If we decide that the hedge is negatively impacting the enjoyment of your home or garden, we may issue a remedial notice. Please be aware that we can't ask for the hedge to be cut below two metres or for it to be removed.

A remedial notice will be sent to you, the owners and occupiers of the land on which the hedge is growing and any neighbouring owners or occupiers that are affected. A remedial notice will explain that:

  • you've made a complaint
  • we've decided to support your complaint and the reasons why
  • action is needed by the hedge owner, including what is expected of them and the date that the action must be completed by
  • the hedge owner must take reasonable steps to prevent the problem happening again
  • there will be consequences if no action is taken within the timescales we set
  • the notice is registered as a local land charge for the time it is valid.

Appeal a high hedge decision

If we make a decision about a high hedge that you're not happy with, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. An appeal could be about:

  • not issuing a remedial notice
  • the terms of the remedial notice
  • our decision to withdraw a remedial notice
  • our decision to dismiss or relax the terms of a remedial notice.

Appeals to the Planning Inspectorate must be made within 28 days of the remedial notice being issued, or the date that we notified interested parties of our decision.