As a local authority we have been given powers to consider complaints about high hedges. Involving the Council should be a last resort and you should first seek to resolve any problems yourself.
The current fee for making a high hedge complaint is £788 and this will need to be paid on submission of the high hedge complaint form to the Council. There is also Government guidance on what complaints local authorities can consider and how they will deal with them.
Submitting a high hedge complaint
You are able to submit a formal complaint about high hedges to the Council only where there has already been reasonable and recent attempts to resolve this amicably with the landowner.
The hedge in question must be evergreen, over two metres high, and not have significant gaps. A complaint can only be considered where there is an unreasonable impact upon the amenity of occupiers of a residential property and must not be a frivolous or vexatious complaint.
Where the Council decides that the complaint is valid, it must decide whether there is an unacceptable impact on the complainant's amenity. It has powers to require the hedge to be reduced in height, although cannot require it to be reduced lower than two metres and cannot require its complete removal. The Council can also ensure that the hedge is kept at this height in the future.
The Council has decided that the fee for processing such a complaint is in excess of £788.00.
Whilst the complaint will be dealt with as soon as possible, there is no time limit for a decision and you should expect to wait for at least eight weeks.
There are rights of appeal against the Council's decision and these will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate.
The circumstances for an appeal enable both a complainant and the landowner the right to appeal against the decision. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision and there is no further fee payable.
Complaints will be determined by the Development Control Section of the Technical Services Department. Further information can be obtained from: Planning Business Centre, Runnymede Borough Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2AH
Tel: 01932 425131
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