High hedges

A high hedge is a row of two or more trees or shrubs, rising to a height of more than 2 meters above ground level

What is a high hedge?

A high hedge is a row of two or more trees or shrubs, rising to a height of more than 2 meters above ground level which forms a barrier to light. All types of hedges are included.

A hedge is not regarded as forming a barrier to light if it has gaps that significantly reduce its overall effect as a barrier at heights of more than 2 meters. The roots of a high hedge are not taken into account.

Resolving disputes over high hedges

Stirling Council acts as an independent and impartial adjudicator when neighbours are unable to settle a dispute over a high hedge. We have the power to make and enforce formal decisions on high hedges in these cases.

Owners and occupiers of residential properties whose light is affected by a high hedge can apply to the Council for a high hedge notice. The hedge does not need to be on adjoining land but it does need to form a barrier to light.

Before you apply

You must take reasonable steps to resolve a dispute before making a formal application. A high hedge notice should be a last resort and will be rejected if there is no evidence that attempts have been made to resolve the dispute.

Even if you have previously made contact, you must send a letter to the owner of the hedge at least 28 days before you submit your application. Keep a copy and submit it with your application.

How to apply

The fee for a high hedge notice application is £300. Where there are multiple applicants, an additional £100 per each additional property to be assessed is required.

After you apply

We will notify the hedge owner and arrange to visit the property to assess the hedge and its impact on the light levels of the applicant's property. We'll give the hedge owner 28 days to submit any relevant representations regarding the application.

If we issue a high hedge notice

We will notify all parties, and outline the reasons for our decision. If we issue a notice, the hedge owner will be given a deadline by which to meet any terms of the notice. If the hedge owner fails to take the remedial action in time, we'll arrange for the work to be carried out. We have the authority to recover the cost of any work we carry out from the hedge owner.

If you're not happy with our decision

Either party can appeal to Scottish Ministers through the Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) process. You'll have to pay a fee to make an appeal.