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High Hedges

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 aims to provide a solution to the problem of high hedges where neighbours have not been able to resolve the issue amicably. The Act provides a means of resolving disputes over the effects of high hedges which interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of domestic property.

Where an owner or occupier can demonstrate that the hedge in question is a high hedge and that the hedge adversely affects the occupant's enjoyment of a domestic property; the owner/occupier can apply to the council for a High Hedge Notice to be served on the owner of the hedge.

Meaning of 'High Hedge'

Before an application can be made you must ensure that the hedge in question meets the definition of a high hedge. If it does not meet the definition an application cannot be made.

For trees and shrubs to be considered as a high hedge, they must first be a hedge. A hedge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as;

'A row of bushes or low trees (e.g. hawthorn or privet) planted closely to from a boundary between pieces of land or at the sides of a road"

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 defines a high hedge as;

A hedge that is

  • formed wholly or mainly by a row of two or more trees and shrubs;
  • rises to a height of more than 2 metres above ground level; and
  • forms a barrier to light (unless gaps significantly mitigate its overall effect as a barrier at heights of more than 2 metres above ground level)


What should be done before making an application

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 requires potential applicants to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue before a formal application is made. Evidence of the steps taken must be submitted with an application. Steps taken should include:

  • A recent attempt to discuss the issue with the hedge owner;
  • A letter sent via recorded delivery to the hedge owner highlighting your concerns. The letter must request the hedge owner to make contact with you to discuss the issue and it must inform the hedge owner of the High Hedges Act;
  • Seek the assistance of a mediation service. Access to mediation services in Aberdeen City is free. Sacro offer a Community Mediation Service; further details on the services Sacro offer can be found at the link below:
  • Sacro Community Mediation Service


Sacro (Aberdeen)
110 Crown Street
Aberdeen
AB11 6HJ
Phone: 01224 560550
Email: infoaberdeen@sacro.org.uk


Applying and fees

A form to apply for a high hedge notice is available to download. Applications for a high hedge notice must be accompanied by a fee. This is currently set at 382 (cheques should be made payable to 'Aberdeen City Council').


An application for a high hedge notice should be considered a last resort and only used when all other attempts to resolve the issue have failed.

The role of Aberdeen City Council is not to mediate between the parties but to act as an impartial decision maker. Submitting an application for a high hedge notice does not guarantee that a notice will be served.

Before applying please make sure;

  • the hedge in question is a high hedge;
  • the impact relates to loss of light or an adverse affect which impacts on the enjoyment you could reasonably expect to have;
  • you can demonstrate that you have tried to resolve the issue.


Further information


Informal enquires

Kevin Wright
Environmental Planner
Planning and Sustainable Development
Aberdeen City Council
Business Hub 4
Ground Floor North
Marischal College
Aberdeen
AB10 1AB
Phone: 01224 522440
Email: kewright@aberdeencity.gov.uk

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