High Hedges

Since 1 June 2005 we have had the authority to deal with nuisance high hedges under a provision of the Antisocial Behaviour act 2003.

There are some important points to note about these powers:

  • They only apply to evergreen or semi-evergreen hedges more than two metres high.
  • The height has an adverse affect on the reasonable enjoyment of your domestic property.
  • We can only deal with a complaint if you have taken reasonable steps to settle the dispute yourself. Making a formal complaint should be a last resort.
  • You will have to pay a fee of £450 to the council to have a formal complaint considered. This is reduced to £100 if you are receiving certain benefits. This will be non-refundable even if your complaint is upheld.

There is a great deal of information about the legislation on the Planning Portal website.

  • What to do if you are affected by a high hedge

    Firstly try to resolve the matter directly with your neighbour. Advice on how you can do this is set out in the Government leaflet ‘Over the garden hedge’. A copy of the leaflet can be viewed on the documents section.

    Another option is to consider formal mediation to try and resolve the problem. The Winchester Mediation Service may be able to help you with this.  Please note that under no circumstances can the council get involved in any mediation or attempts to negotiate a solution between the parties.

  • Submitting a formal complaint

    If you have tried the other options you may wish to make a formal complaint.
    The complaint form and the guidance notes for completing it are available to download from the documents section. Alternatively, you can call the Planning Enforcement team on 01962 848 480.

    Once you have completed the form, including the plans, photographs, provided evidence of attempts to resolve the complaints and required fee, you should send it to:

    Planning Enforcement
    Winchester City Council
    City Offices
    Colebrook Street
    Winchester
    SO23 9LJ

    Alternatively you can email the documents to enf@winchester.gov.uk

    If you need further information you can contact the Planning Enforcement team on 01962 848 480.