Hedges can give a garden or house added privacy and security and can also provide habitats for wildlife. However, they may also cause problems, especially if neglected or allowed to grow unchecked.
Before you complain
Before you complain to us, it's really important you first take steps to address the problem yourself. Steps you could take include:
- Approaching your neighbour to discuss the issue.
- Writing a polite letter to your neighbour outlining your concerns.
- Asking the hedge owner to lower their hedge.
- Telling your neighbour you intend to complain to the council if the issue isn't resolved.
- Keeping a record of all the actions and measures you've taken to compromise with your neighbour. We may refuse to get involved if we feel there's more you could do to resolve the situation.
- Reading some of the government's guides and advice on how to deal with your neighbours over hedge disputes:
How much it costs to complain
It costs £400 to complain to us about your neighbours hedge.
This fee is non-refundable, even if we decide not to act on your complaint. You should, therefore, think very carefully before complaining to us and consider involving us only as a last resort.
Make a complaint
If you've been unable to come to an agreement with your neighbour, you can make a complaint to us. To do this:
- Read the guidance notes for completing the complaint form (237kb pdf). Your complaint may be delayed if you don't complete the form properly or don't include the correct information.
- Complete the high hedges complaint form below and email or post it to us using the details on the form.
- Pay the fee. We won't proceed with your complaint until we've received your payment. You can:
- Ring us using the details on this page to pay by credit or debit card or
- Post a cheque to us using the details on this page. Please make cheques payable to Rochdale Borough Council.
After you make a complaint
We'll investigate and decide whether it's reasonable to say the hedge is having an adverse affect on your enjoyment of your property or garden. We aim to make a decision within 3 months.
If we decide the hedge isn't affecting you, we'll write to you and explain our reasons why.
If we decide the hedge is affecting you:
- We'll give the hedge owner a formal notice which says what action they have to take. This will be unique to your individual circumstances but could involve removing or trimming the hedge to a certain height.
- It's an offence for the hedge owner to fail to comply with the works we've requested on our formal notice
- If a court agrees to prosecute the hedge owner for not carrying out the work we've requested, they could receive a fine of up to £1,000. In this case, we'll then have the power to carry out the works and recover the costs from the hedge owner.
Appeal a decision
If you don't agree with our decision, you've the right to appeal within 28 days of receiving our decision letter.
You can appeal a decision if you're the person who made the complaint or the person who owns, rents or occupies the land the hedge is on.