Hedge heights we can expect if we rely on 'light loss'; under the 'High Hedges Law'

so remember there are other forms of nuisance which the Law allows as reasons for claiming height reduction

see below

Bigger chart for printing

Diagram worked out and drawn by Derek Glew

1. BRE heights for hedges which allow 'enough' light into gardens
To use the diagram to find BRE heights for light entering into gardens first work out whether the hedge is to the N. S. W. or E. of your garden and measure how far away it is in metres. Then mark off that number of metres along the horizonal axis. Put another mark directly above on the appropriate slanting line (e.g. hedges to West of gardens). Look directly across to the vertical axis which will give you the 'BRE height' for the hedge.

2. BRE heights for hedges opposite ground floor windows which allow 'enough' light into these windows
There are 2 separate scales of measurements for 'light entering into windows'. One of these is represented on the diagram by the line, 'hedges opposite windows - all directions'.

3. BRE heights for hedges to the sides of windows which allow 'enough' light into these windows
These heights (which are not shown on above diagram) range from just about satisfactory, if the hedge is extremely close to the window, to quite unreasonably high if further away. To find the BRE height take the distance from the centre of window to the boundary on which the hedge stands and add 1m.
The BRE hedge height will be 2.5m at 1.5m to the side of the centre of a ground floor window, 7m at 6m to the side.
If the hedge is more than 1m behind the boundary then you have to add the distance between the boundary and the hedge. If, as is most likely, the heights are not good for you, look at the other criteria

*BRE sets down methods for calculating hedge heights for allowing 'enough' light into gardens which are not rectangular and into windows where side hedges are at odd angles.

*Only main living room windows are considered with regard to light loss or with regard to any other of the allowed criteria for complaint; not bathrooms and landings and not conservatories and outbuildings.


To access a larger chart for printing. This image is fairly large, and can take a minute to load.

Bigger Chart

Winter sulight concession in very specific cases in the revised BRE Guidelines.
In certain cases the hedge can block significant amounts of sunlight as well as daylight, particularly in the winter. Particular problems can occur if the window faces less than 30 °south of due east or west,for example between east and east south east,or between west south west and west , and the hedge is to the south of the window.
In these cases the action hedge height is found by taking the horizontal distance between the centre of the window and the boundary on which the hedge stands,dividing this by two and then adding one metre to get the action hedge height. Example:the hedge is six metres south of the centre of the window The action hedge height is (6 ÷2 =3 )+1 =4 metres.

The grounds for claiming hedge height reduction under the Hedge Law.

The 'High Hedges Law' allows a number of grounds * for claiming hedge height reduction. Victims using the new Law must familiarise themselves with these and realise that claiming loss of light as the ONLY form of nuisance may produce unsatisfactory results in quite a few situations.
It is not enough merely to say you do not like the look of a hedge. It is, of course, not enough merely to say you do not like the look of a hedge. The grounds for claiming height reduction are as follows, -

*Note - these grounds are taken from the DRAFT Guidance for local authorities. (September 04)

Some victims still think still think all problem high hedges are coming down to 2m under the 'High Hedges Law'. This is totally untrue.


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This page was written and constructed, and is maintained by Clare.

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