If you have issues with a neighbour’s hedge, the first thing to do is to speak to them. The government has produced a number of useful publications explaining high hedge legislation and what you can do to try to resolve problems.
The Council can only become involved in a high hedge dispute when all other avenues have failed and should you wish to pursue a formal high hedge complaint. There is a charge for this service.
- Guidance on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority
- Visit the High Hedges page on our website
- On the Planning Portal
- Government Guidance on High Hedges Complaints
Within Wealden there are a large number of trees and woodlands that are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). These trees may have been threatened in the past or be of high amenity value and afforded special protection. A TPO prohibits work being carried out to a protected tree without consent from the council. It also makes it an offence to wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree. If you wish to carry out work to TPO trees you will need to get consent from the Council. Further details of the TPO system in the United Kingdom can be found on the government website.
If you wish to know if you have a tree with a TPO you can contact the planning information team on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can obtain a copy of a TPO which will be emailed to you as a PDF. There is a charge for this service.
In England and Wales the majority of hedgerows are protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. These regulations prohibit the removal or wilful destruction of hedgerows that have been assessed as ‘important’ and the presumption is always in favour of protecting and retaining important hedgerows. The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 also offers protection to wildlife using hedgerows.
Hedgerows are protected if they are at least 30 years old and meet at least one of the criteria listed in part II of schedule 1 of the regulations. The Hedgerow regulations do not apply to garden hedges, even if land on the other side of the hedge meets the above criteria. Please see government guidance on Countryside hedgerows: protection and management for further information.
If you wish to remove a hedgerow (or a section of hedgerow) you will need to get consent from the Council through a hedgerow removal application. You can download the forms from our Application forms page in the Trees and Hedgerows section.
If you are concerned that hedgerows are being removed or damaged please email the Planning Department.