High hedges

A high hedge is defined as a line of two or more evergreen, or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs which are two or more metres high and which because they are too tall cause problems such as blocking light. If a high hedge on another person’s land spoils your reasonable enjoyment of your property, because it is too tall, we can deal with complaints only as a last resort if you can show us all other attempts to resolve the matter including mediation, have failed. Mediation advice is available from Mediation Surrey.

High hedges: complaining to the council explains what happens if we get involved.

If you have tried without success to resolve matters and want us to get involved please read our High Hedges Complaint Form Guidance Notes which explains the criteria for making a complaint.

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You must attempt to try and resolve the problem before making a complaint. Think carefully about the reasons for your complaint and clearly explain the steps you have taken to try to settle the dispute.

If you have not tried all the steps below, we might not proceed with your complaint:

  1. Approached hedge owner and asked to discuss the problem
  2. Asked hedge owner to try mediation
  3. Informed hedge owner of intention to complain to the Council

If your answer is “yes” to all of the following questions, you meet the criteria for us to consider your complaint and can complete the High Hedges Complaint form.

  1. Is the hedge - or part that is causing problems - made up of a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs?
  2. Is the hedge mainly evergreen or semi-evergreen?
  3. Even though there are gaps in the foliage between the trees, is the hedge still capable of obstructing light or views?
  4. Is the hedge growing on land owned by someone else?
  5. Are you the owner or occupier (e.g. tenant) of the property affected by the hedge?
  6. Is the property residential?

To make a complaint you will need to download and complete a complaint form.

You will be asked to pay the relevant fee of £500 when we have accepted your complaint as valid. The fee is non-refundable once the investigation process has commenced.