Little-known garden hedge rule that could land you in trouble with the council – and neighbours

By Staff

Gardeners are warned about the little known hedge rule that can be easily broken – and not only will it cause a spat with neighbours, it can also land hefty fines

As spring starts to arrive, Brits will venture out into their gardens to spruce them up ready for the warmer weather – but there’s one rule that could get you into trouble.

Keeping our gardens looking neat and pristine is important to many, but when it comes to your garden hedge, there’s not much you can do about it growing high.

However by not keeping on top of it could get you in trouble with not only your neighbours, but the council too. Not only could it cause a spat with those next door, you could face a hefty fine.

Sean Bunyan, Head of Commercial Operations at leading home improvement specialists, Eurocell, breaks down how to improve your garden while staying on the right side of the law – including your hedges.

They are great for privacy in your garden, and we all know problems can come with arguments over the size and shape of hedges, but not many people know they’re also included in the Anti-Social Behavior Act 2003. Sean explained: “Part 8 of the act declares that it’s the ‘homeowner’s responsibility to keep their hedges maintained. If a neighbour has an issue then they can complain to the local authority.”

That being, said, if the neighbour does complain, it can land the homeowner with a heavy fine. Sean continued: “As part of that process, if the local authority finds that the complainant’s property has been negatively impacted by the tall hedge, they can issue a formal notice and a fine of up to £1,000.”

There are other easy ways to land yourself in some hot water, with another being the height of fencing, as Sean advised to consider the “legal limits for height”. The maximum height is two metres – or 6’6″, you may have a higher fence but this would need planning permission.

To make things even more complicated, when erecting a fence that fronts a road, path or public brindleway, the fence can’t be over one metre tall without planning permission. You will also need planning permission if you live in a conservation area of historically listed building too.

According to the experts, if homeowners fail to gain permission, this could “trigger a sequence of events” which could result in a £20,000 fine or even more.

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