UK Property Law
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May I clarify please do you wish to be able to cut down the parts that overhang your property please or would that not be enough on its own but you want to reduce their height even in respect of the parts that do not overhang you garden?
From what you say the trees in question comprise more than one tree which are of an evergreen shrub variety rather than "traditional" trees?
Thanks - you mention firs. Are they all fir trees or not all of them?
They are both fir trees and there are two of them.
Thanks. The starting point is that trees growing on a neighbours land can be very difficult to deal with in the law. However, based on what you say this position is likely to be suitable to be dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which created new procedures to enable local authorities to deal with complaints about high hedges and evergreen trees and shrubs.
It is clearly better if disputes can be settled between you and the neighbour it goes without saying but from what you say you have tried to resolve the same between you without prospect of success. Where negotiation fails, a complaint can be made to the local authority who can assess the case, acting as an independent and impartial third party. If they think it is justified the authority can order the owner to reduce the height of their trees to under 2m in height. But there is no general requirement that all trees and hedges should be kept below a certain height. In particular it is not illegal to have a tree more than 2m high but the officer can order them to be reduced to a height of 2m if he considers this reasonable in the circumstances
It is possible for you to make a complaint if the following apply though you will have to pay a fee:- The tree or hedge in question comprised wholly or predominantly of a line of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs;- It is over 2 metres high;- The hedge acts, to some degree, as a barrier to light or access; and- Because of its height, it is adversely affecting your reasonable enjoyment of your domestic property
There is a fee to pay to the council to determine your application which councils tend to assess at around £400 though if you are on any means tested benefits you can apply for a 50% concession.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Thank you for answering that. What authority do we get in touch with to proceed with this matter ? Is it the local council?
A pleasure. Yes in deed your local authority to whom you pay council tax. It is normally dealt with by the environmental services department.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Thanks for all your help . We will proceed on your advice.
A pleasure. I hope you are able to reach a successful resolution. You may consider advising your neighbour he is leaving you with little choice before making the complaint. This can sometime be effective in avoiding the necessity of the application if the neighbour proceeds voluntarily as a result. I should also mention that you can lop back any overhanging branches without his permission returning the material to him.
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Thank you for all your help, we wil proceed on your advice. Ron Wilkinson