High hedges

What is a 'high hedge'?

  • a hedge that is formed wholly or mainly by a row of two or more trees or shrubs;
  • rises to a height of more than two metres above ground level; and
  • forms a barrier to light.

The following additional criteria are used to define a hedge:

  • Intention at time of planting - if the shrubs/trees were planted as a linear feature then it is considered as a hedge;
  • Spacing of shrubs/plants - if specimens were planted 600mm apart or under, then it would be considered as a hedge. If greater than 600mm then it would be considered as woodland planting; and
  • Maintenance - The feature should have been maintained as a hedge in the past.

Are you considering applying for a high hedge notice?

The Scottish Government has published Guidance to Local Authorities on High Hedges which fully sets out our role and provides information on what people should do before applying for a high hedge notice.

Before submitting an application you must be able to demonstrate that you have tried to reach a solution with the hedge owner, showing a reasonable effort has been made in a reasonable timescale.

We will not be able to accept applications without evidence that you have tried to resolve the issue.

Making an application

Once the required evidence is in place, you can make an application for a high hedge notice.  The form and guidance on how to apply can be found within the application form

Please note that the fee for making an application is £450.  However, a lower fee of £225 is payable for applications made by Registered Disabled persons.

Your application must contain all of the following information:

  • the application form fully completed and signed by the applicant;
  • the fee of £450;  (or £225 for applications made by Registered Disabled persons)
  • details of the location of the hedge;
  • confirmation that the applicant is the owner or the occupier of the home affected by the high hedge, and the hedge is located within another property; and
  • evidence that you have tried to resolve the issue.

If you fail to provide any of this information, the application will be returned.

Deciding your application

We will immediately acknowledge your application and let the hedge owner know, giving them 28 days to comment. We will then pass any comments of the owner back to you for information. We would then undertake a site visit and consider all matters relevant to the case before coming to a decision on the application. Every case will be judged on its own merits.

We would notify both the applicant and owner(s) of our decision and the reasons for it as soon as possible. If our decision is to take action we would send details of the high hedge notice to both parties. If the the required steps of the notice are then not complied with by the owner, we would have the power to undertake works to the high hedge ourselves, and then reclaim the costs.

Are you considering appealing against the council's decision?

If either the hedge owner or the applicant disagree with our decision, an appeal can be made to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appealsby using the high hedge appeals form.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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