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Nuisance Hedges in Towns and Villages

If you wish to complain about, or take action against, a nuisance hedge, whether it be affecting your property or elsewhere, you may be able to apply to the Council under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.

High hedges

Where a hedge causes a nuisance to a neighbour, and it consists of a line of two or more evergreen, or Semi-evergreen trees or shrubs, the neighbour can make a formal complaint to the council.

The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may bring problems. Use this Government guide to help you agree what is right for you and your neighbours. This guidance also explains what will happen if the council get involved. 

How to complain about a hedge 

You must try to settle a dispute about a high hedge informally before the council can intervene. Find out more about resolving neighbour disputes

If you do wish to submit a complaint, please download and complete the High Hedge Complaint Form  and email it to trees@swdevon.gov.uk

There is a currently a charge of £500 for making such a complaint, and if successful, the council can insist that the hedgerow is reduced in height.

Overhanging hedges

Where a hedge growing in one property overhangs another property, the neighbouring owner can cut the hedge back to the boundary line under common law. Find out more about resolving neighbour disputes

The council does not get involved in disputes concerning overhanging hedgerows between private properties.

Hedges interfering with roads and paths

Where an overhanging hedge interferes with safe use of a public path or highway, it is the landowner's responsibility to cut it back.

Devon County Council can insist that interfering hedges are cut back, if you have any concerns, for example, of pedestrians being forced into road or reduced visibility, please report it to Devon County Council.

Managing a hedge

Making sure that the right species is chosen for a new hedge and then managing it appropriately helps avoid neighbour disputes. Details on selection of species and the management of hedgerows can be found in Icon for pdf The Right Hedge For You [38.52KB].