High hedges

As from 1 June 2005 Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gave powers to Local Authorities to deal with complaints about high hedges.

Provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute and meet the criteria set out by the Government, you will be able to take your complaint to us.

Our role is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner but to adjudicate on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant’s reasonable enjoyment of their property.

Please note, Reading Borough Council does not manage complaints regarding private trees. If you do have concerns regarding trees, please contact the tree owner or your insurer if your concern relates to potential tree damage to your property. Any complaints regarding Council owned trees can be directed to the correct department via our main switchboard 0118 937 3787.

How to make a valid complaint to the Council

Please ensure your complaint meets all valid criteria before continuing. Further information on high hedges can be found here – see in particular Chapter 4 of ‘High Hedge Complaints: Prevention and Cure’ for the criteria.

You can then complete our high hedge complaint form.

Please do not use this form for anything other than a formal High Hedge Complaint (as defined by the aforementioned criteria).  Complaints about Council vegetation should be directed to the correct department – please see contacts at: Trees – Reading Borough Council.  Concerns about vegetation in neighbouring properties should be directed to the vegetation owner and remain a private matter unless there are protected trees involved.

There is no set time limit in which high hedge complaints have to be completed, however the Council will aim to make a decision within 8 weeks of the complaint being received (as long as it is valid). There is a charge of £300 for dealing with a valid complaint, paid for by the person who is complaining about a hedge. You can make your payment online if your complaint is confirmed as valid.

If you would like to discuss a high hedge problem please ring the Natural Environment Team 0118 937 8787 or e-mail planning.naturalenvironment@reading.gov.uk

Last updated on 31/05/2024