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High Hedge Disputes

Sedgemoor District Council can only get involved with hedge issues on residential properties. A garden hedge is useful as a boundary, creating privacy and encouraging wildlife but it can occasionally have its drawbacks.

Planning and maintaining a hedge

You do not need permission to plant a hedge in your garden and there are no official restrictions as to how high you can grow your hedge. Overhanging branches can be pruned and cut back to boundary lines unless the hedge is in a conservation area or the hedgetrees are protected.

How high is a 'high hedge'?

A high hedge is generally defined as being over two metres (6ft 6inches) in height and consists of two or more plants.

What if my neighbour's hedge/trees overhang into my garden?

The best way to deal with the issue is to talk to your neighbour about it. Even if you and your neighbour aren't on speaking terms it is still worth trying to find a solution to your hedge problems. In these circumstances you could write them a letter, send it by recorded delivery and wait 21 days for a reply.

If this fails consider contacting a mediator, to find your nearest community mediation service use the Civil Mediation directory. Legislation expressly says that we (Sedgemoor District Council) will not mediate or negotiate between neighbours.

If mediation fails the Council can get involved as a last resort. We (Sedgemoor District Council) cannot get involved unless there is evidence of negotiations. We may refuse to entertain the application in extreme circumstances.

Further guidance and advice can be found on GOV.UK High Hedges guidance.

If you wish to proceed you can apply to the council using the Icon for pdf High Hedge Complaint form [346.03KB] , there is a £400 charge for this service. Once the application form and fee is received a Planning officer will visit the site and if harm is defined, order the hedge to be reduced. Please note the officer cannot order action which would destroy the hedge.

What if a hedge or tree is blocking a pavement?

If a tree or hedge from a private garden overhangs and causes an obstruction to a pavement, please report it to Somerset County Council.

pdf High Hedge Complaint form [346.03KB] arrowGOV.UK High Hedges guidance arrowCivil Mediation directory