High hedges

Complaining about a high hedge

We can deal with complaints about high hedges under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. You can find guidance about high hedges and on the GOV.UK website.

Our role is not to mediate between the complainant and the hedge owner, but to judge whether the hedge is affecting the complainant’s reasonable enjoyment of their property.

To be covered by this legislation:

  • the hedge needs, as a result of its height, to be acting as a barrier to light or access to the extent that a person's reasonable enjoyment of their property is being adversely affected
  • the hedge must be made up of all or a majority of evergreen or semi-evergreen species, over 2 metres in height and formed of a line of two or more trees or shrubs
  • the hedge must impact on a residential property (house, bungalow, flat etc.) or part of a property in more than one use, which is being used for residential purposes (such as a flat over a shop)

If you think a hedge on a neighbouring property is too high and you wish to complain about it, please contact us to discuss your complaint before submitting a complaint form, phone 01603 430587, or email.

After you have spoken to us you can then submit a High Hedge complaint form.

There is a charge of £375 for this application (which is non refundable) although some exemptions are available.

Overhanging trees and hedges

There is no legal requirement about cutting back the of height or spread of roots and branches, except for trees growing next to the highway. In these locations, the owner has a duty to prune trees or hedges so that they don't cause obstruction or danger to pedestrians and vehicles. 

If you have seen a hedge or tree which is overhanging or obstructing a public highway or road, please report the matter to Highways at Norfolk County Council.

With the exception of protected trees, for example, trees included in a Tree Preservation Order or situated within a conservation area, a neighbour may cut back any overhanging branches or encroaching roots without the tree owner’s consent. The pruning's remain the property of the tree owner and should be tactfully offered back to them. They don't have to accept the pruning's from you. You may have to dispose of them yourself.