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 they can apply to the council for a High Hedge Notice to be served on the owner of the hedge.

Before you make an application for a notice to be served, you must ensure that the trees or shrubs in question form a hedge and meet the definition of a high hedge. If the trees or shrubs do not form a hedge or do not meet the definition of a high hedge then you cannot make an application.
 
For trees and shrubs to be considered as a hedge they must form what is commonly recognised as a hedge. For example, well-spaced tree lines are not generally considered to be a hedge, even if the trees join to form a canopy.
 
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).

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 requires potential applicants to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue before a formal application is made. You must submit evidence of the steps you have taken with the 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 in the  related links section below.

You can download and complete the form below to apply for a high hedge notice. The application fee for a high hedge notice is currently £382. You can pay your application fee using our payment portal or by cheque. 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 trees and shrubs form what is commonly recognised as a hedge.
  • The hedge in question meets the definition of a high hedge.
  • The height of the high hedge adversely affects the enjoyment of a domestic property.
  • You can demonstrate that you have tried to resolve the issue.

Contact details

Kevin Wright
Environmental Planner
Strategic Place Planning
Aberdeen City Council
Business Hub 4
Ground Floor North
Marischal College
Aberdeen
AB10 1AB

01224 522440
kewright@aberdeencity.gov.uk


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