A homeowner in Evesham, Worcestershire was landed with a £2,500 legal bill and the threat of an Anti Social Behavior Order because she failed to trim her 32 ft conifer. Things were made worse when she willfully ignored the advice given by her local authority to cut down the tree.
This isn’t the only neighbour dispute that has made the news. A man from Cannock has been arguing with his neighbour for years over his neighbour’s 20 ft high conifer. After the local authority stepped in, the neighbour was finally ordered to cut his ‘personal forest’ down to 5 ft.
Any complaint regarding a neighbour’s high hedge must be made to your local authority; however there are limits to what they can do.
Should your local authority not be able to help there are many other options available. An incriminating tree may trespass onto your property. The tree may also interfere with a right you are entitled to within your property deeds. Both options will need to be investigated, often with expert evidence being required.
In any event, it is recommended that a simple conversation between neighbours may help. These conversations can often avoid future relationships from breaking down and minimise the potential for large legal fees. At the end of the day, you will be living alongside your neighbour once the incriminating tree is cut down.
By Tom Baker, graduate paralegal in the dispute resolution team