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11/10/2013 at 21:37

Having just read someone else's request for advice regarding their neighbours overgrown hedge I thought I'd throw in my own two penny rant! 

My mother has lived in her house for some twelve years or so. When she bought it there was a lovely sea view but the neighbours trees (conifers) were starting to slightly obscure it. She asked, at the time, whether they were kept in check and told, by the agent AND the previous owner, that indeed they were....

As of today, the trees continue to grow and are now almost completely obscuring any view she once had. What makes matters worse is that she herself now wishes to move to somewhere smaller and EVERY viewing she has throws up the same old question "can those trees be cut?"!!!

The answer is NO! They are probably 40 feet or so in height now and steadily growing. Apparently, legally, you have "no right" to a view!! Even if it can make a difference to the price of your house of hundreds of thousands of pounds... 

And.... as for "a polite word with your neighbour about it", you'd have to meet the man in question to fully appreciate his personality but, trust me, that is totally out of the question! Why are some people SO aggressive and unreasonable?!?

Be warned!!

Rant over 

 

 

11/10/2013 at 21:42
11/10/2013 at 21:58

Thank you but we've read (I think) all of these rules and regulations. The neighbour claims they have TPO's (although quite why is a mystery to me, other than pure spite) and, as I said, legally no-one has any RIGHT to a view - which is the only issue with them. Also, any dispute that goes down formally would further damage any chance of mum finding a suitable buyer. She's being completely honest with every viewer (unlike the people she bought it off) and just hoping a fantastic garden and beautiful house will be enough to entice a buyer. Although, sadly, it will be at a very substantial financial loss without the view.

11/10/2013 at 22:01

Why not just enquire at council if they do have TPO's, they may just be saying it.

11/10/2013 at 22:08

If you read the RHS link I posted, you'll see that a TPO can be overturned and that the fact that a high hedge blocks a view can be a consideration when action is being considered.

There are a lot of myths about - you need to establish the facts. 

11/10/2013 at 22:14

But are they a hedge  on the boundary line, or just large trees within the garden?

12/10/2013 at 00:11

And are these specific trees in possession of their very own TPO, or does the whole area happen to be a conservation area with blanket tpos ?

12/10/2013 at 09:21

I would check with the local council about TPO's and whether the conifers constitute a hedge in which case there are regs controlling the height particularly if they are the dreaded leylandii.

You are right that you have no legal right to a view per se.

12/10/2013 at 09:42

Dragonfly - you said in your original post they were conifers so does that mean a hedge that the neighbour put in? If so, you have a case for requesting them to be kept at a reasonable height. Forget about views as everyone is right - you have no right to that - but a boundary hedge is a different matter as KT53 states. Get all your facts correctly gathered and prepared (including photos) and then approach the council.

13/10/2013 at 21:32

Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply to my rant

Its fairly complicated.... Initially, there were just 2 very large trees "in the way". I'm no expert on conifers (not a fan at all) but they are, I think, spruce of some sort. Theyre definitely planted on the neighbours side of the boundary but the trunks are JUST on their side and the boundary is actually just a line of two wires. A huge mass of the branches are therefore on mums side (and cause their own issues such as making it impossible to grow anything underneath them). On mums side (planted many years before she moved in) are two other "proper" trees - which are kept in check and half the height of the neighbours (still probably 20 feet tall so ample for privacy!). Then, last year, he planted a row of others which look horribly like leylandii to me - filling in all the "gaps". These are now probably ten feet tall.

On your advice, I will approach the council and see if there's anything at all which can be done. We haven't taken this route before because we were always advised (by friends/family) that we wouldn't have a leg to stand on. After all, if there was anything that could be done, then the previous owners would've acted on it and may not have felt the need to lie about it or, who knows, maybe they wouldnt even have decided to move!!

I must confess that every time I hear about a conifer that has died a little bit of me wishes I had the "secret" to their demise! It is soooo tempting, when out with my chainsaw helping mum in the garden, to "accidentally" slip and - oops! Poor trees! 

I do love trees - honest - I just hate these ones!

 

13/10/2013 at 21:41

Any branches that overhang the boundary onto your side can be cut off unless there is a preservation order.   That doesn't help with the height however.

Leylandii planted as a hedge is a problem at that height. See the council to see if they can enforce lowering it.

13/10/2013 at 21:45

Losing a sea view will reduce the value of a house. It will also reduce the value of adjacent houses. You could point that out to the neighbours.

13/10/2013 at 21:50

Yes indeed, you can remove any branches that overhang your own garden as long as you return said branches to their owner.   Being conifers, they won't regrow from brown wood so you'd have to think about the effects of looking at bare borwn stems and revealed brown growth on remaining branches.   If the trees are planyted on the boundary they can be considered as a hedge and thus liable to hedge height rules.

Do check with your mum's local council about their boundary hedge rules and see what can be done.   There should be a council service for mediating boundary and neighbourly problems too.

13/10/2013 at 21:50

If any of the branches overhang your mother's property she is within her rights to cut them back to the boundary line (assuming there is no TPO), but no further. She must also return the cut branches to her neighbour.

If they are simply large trees then there is nothing your mother can do unless the trees are causing physical damage to her property or drains. 

Not quite the same as your problem, but a few years ago the people living behind us stuck a snotty note through the door demanding that we cut back a tree which was putting their garden in shadow.  I took great delight in telling them that the tree was actually growing in their garden.  The previous occupants of their property had built a wall about 3' into their garden for some reason and the tree had grown up behind it!  Had they bothered to speak to me when I was in the garden it would have been easily sorted.  As it is they haven't spoken to me since. Ho hum.

13/10/2013 at 22:04

How can you're mother have sea views if she needs to look across other gardens, I would put trees up aswell, he's proberly sick of seeing eye balls at the window everytime he is in the garden. 

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