Since June 2005, provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute, you can take your complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to Harlow Council.
The role of the local authority will not be to mediate or negotiate between you, as the complainant, and the hedge owner, but to adjudicate on whether - in the words of the Act - the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so, the authority will take account of all relevant factors and will strike a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.
If we consider the circumstances justify it, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when by. Failure to carry out the works required by us will be an offence, which on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.
Before you complain
Satisfy yourself that you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute. Mediation must be attempted before before a complaint can be made to Harlow Council.
- Over the garden hedge (pdf) - a leaflet on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority.
- Mediation UK, Basildon Mediation, PO Box 6013, Parkland Centre, Gloucester Park, Basildon, Essex, SS14 2RZ, Tel: 01268 294372 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is also a local mediation service: Glynn Davies JustMediation.co.uk 100 Elmbridge Harlow Essex CM17 OJU, Tel: 01279 866678 www.justmediation.co.uk
- High Hedges Complaints Prevention and Cure (pdf) - a leaflet explaining what complaints the Council can consider and how we will deal with them.
How to complain
If you still wish to proceed and make a formal complaint, you will need to submit a completed High Hedges complaint form along with the appropriate fee: