Make a high hedge complaint

Before making a high hedge complaint

You must have taken both of the following steps to sort out the problem before you submit a complaint to us.

  • Spoken and written to your neighbour about the hedge and how it is affecting the enjoyment of your property. You must have made a minimum of three attempts within the last four months and provide evidence of at least two in writing.
  • Spoken to a third party mediation group. These are groups run by trained mediators who will mediate between two parties in dispute.

We charge £500 to investigate each high hedge complaint. 

How to make a complaint

Before you submit a complaint, check the relevant hedge meets the following conditions. It must be:

  • made up of a line of at least two evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
  • not have any significant gaps in it
  • be at least two metres in height (when measured from the level of roots at ground level)
  • block out light to your home or garden.

If the dispute remains unresolved, you can submit a complaint to us using the following form.

Download and complete our high hedges complaint form

Send your completed form to:
The Arboricultural Officer
Woking Borough Council
Civic Offices
Gloucester Square
GU21 6YL

Successful complaints

If we decide that the hedge is affecting the enjoyment of your property, we may decide to issue a remedial notice. This notice will:

  • outline your complaint
  • outline our decision and reasons to support your complaint
  • list the action that the hedge owner must take and the date it must be completed
  • list future action which the hedge owner must take to stop the problem happening again
  • outline what will happen if the hedge owner does not take this action within the timescale set
  • confirm registration of the remedial notice as a local land charge for the time it is valid.

Unsuccessful complaints

Both parties, the complainant and the owner of the hedge, can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against our decision.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the remedial notice, or the date on which we notify all interested parties of our decision.

More information

View the government’s collection of documents relating to high hedges