High hedge complaints
The hedge (or the portion that is causing the problems) must be:
- made up of a line or two or more trees of shrubs
- mostly evergreen or semi evergreen
- over two metres above ground level in height
- obstructing light in some way
- growing on land owned by someone else
- growing on a residential property
- affecting you (the complainant) in some way
You need to have previously contacted the hedge owner and tried to resolve the hedge problems before submitting a formal complaint. This may have been in person, over the phone, email or formal letter.
We can’t consider problems that aren’t connected with the height of the hedge. For example:
- if the roots of the hedge are pushing up a path
- mess that dropped leaves create
- hedges trimmed to a lower height
- worry about a hedge is making you ill
Cost of a high hedge complaint
The cost of a high hedge application can be found on the planning fee schedule.
How to submit a high hedge complaint
You will need to:
- complete the high hedge form
- provide photographs of the hedge
- a location map
- a sketch plan showing the location of the hedge and surrounding properties
- a copy of the latest previous correspondence with the hedge owner
P5 High hedge complaint form
The location map must be from an authorised copy of the current 1:2500 scale Jersey Digital Map, showing the location of the affected property outlined in red and identifying the location of the hedge to which the application relates.
The sketch plan should provide additional information such as:
- the location of buildings, including adjoining properties
- the position and extent of the hedge
- which way is north
- the position of windows that are affected by the hedge and details of the rooms that they serve, for example, whether they are located on the front, side or rear of the property and whether they provide light to a living room, bedroom, bathroom
- relevant measurements, for example, size of garden, distance between the hedge and any affected windows. All measurements should be in metres
You must send a copy of your completed complaint form to the owner and occupier of the property where the hedge is situated so they are aware of your formal complaint.
The high hedge complaint process
Once the complaint form is submitted and checked by our technicians, we’ll register the complaint. We’ll then communicate with the owner and occupier of the property where the hedge is growing, ask them to answer a standard questionnaire and allow them to submit comments. We’ll also liaise with other States departments, such as Natural Environment Team and the States Arboricultural Officer.
We publish all documents on the planning register. We’ll publish:
- your name
- the site address
- the details of the complaint
- all drawings, plans, supporting documents and statements submitted with your complaint
We won’t publish any signatures, your telephone numbers or email address.
A case officer will then be assigned your case. They will visit both your property and the property where the hedge is growing. When we visit any property, we’ll always wear identifiable high visibility jackets and carry a States of Jersey official ID badge. If no-one is present, we’ll also leave a card or message letting you know that we have been.
Hedge height guidance on UK government website
Choosing the right hedge on UK government website
Decisions on high hedge complaints
If the owner of the hedge submits the standard questionnaire, and no one else is involved in the case, the officer can make a recommendation and an authorising officer will make the decision under delegated authority. If the owner of the hedge submits additional comments, the decision must be made by the Minister for the Environment in a public meeting.
As the Minister’s meeting is public, the agenda and all documents are published one week prior to the meeting. All parties involved will be informed of the meeting date and venue a week prior to the meeting.
The decision will be whether to issue a remedial notice or not. If the decision is to issue a remedial notice, the notice will only seek to address the issues relevant to the specific complaint. It can’t require the hedge to be removed completely or require its reduction in height less than two metres above the ground level. It can’t require anything to be done sooner than 28 days from the service of the notice.
The remedial notice is issued to the hedge owner, complainant and any occupier of the land, setting out what must be done and the timescale for the action to address the situation. Remedial notices will be published to the planning register and will be available for anyone to view.
The owner of a hedge may appeal to the Royal Court in relation to any remedial notice served. A complainant can also appeal any decision not to serve a notice or the requirements of the notice.