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Political and Legislative Moves February 02 - May 02


March 02 - May 02

Hedgeline's Code for Hedge Growers | Draft Advice Leaflet to be restructured: possible changes in draft legislation | Changed Plans for DTLR Advice Leaflet | Meeting with the Minister | Victims' Needs Not Met by 'BRE Guidelines'

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The BRE 'Guidelines' on Hedge Height: Our comments February 1st 2002.

Index pages

Hedgeline's Code of Practice for Hedge Growers

Hedgeline, still awaiting Government action, has compiled its own Code of Practice for problem-hedge growers.

The plight of people unable to save their homes from the blight of a neighbour's unmaintained hedge is now well known to most people in this country and, though, on 10th August 2000, the Government, promised to introduce a statutory complaints system administered by local authorities,this has still not appeared. Meanwhile the hedges and the problems they create grow ever bigger.

In the meantime there is a Government Advice Leaflet in preparation. Many feel that 'advice' is of little use in dealing with unreasonable people. Hedgeline, is very anxious that this leaflet should not use too much space in telling the victims of problem hedges how to behave towards their tormentors, but should concentrate on giving advice to those causing the trouble, the growers of problem hedges.

The Code of Practice

  • Advice Leaflet to be Restructured and Revised. Possible Changes in Draft Legislation. May 3rd, 02

    The DTLR officer in charge of our area of concern has replied (2nd May),to our letter of (30th April),stating that:-

    We are part of the group that will influence the leaflet's shape, but other members of the group will also be providing comments which will be considered.

    Regarding the forthcoming legislation the DTLR states,

    As the work carried out by BRE suggests that light obstruction cannot be used as a, proxy for all problems associated with overgrown hedges, it will be looking at whether changes are needed to the High Hedges Bill promoted by John M Taylor MP in 2000/01, before it is re-introduced to Parliament'.

    We are convinced that the Government is trying to find a satisfactory solution to this highly complex, and many-faceted problem. Restrictions on hedge heights cannot be based on the 'single light criterion'. This would have been a good way to solve the various problems, 'in one go', and to give, an objective solution to settle arguments, but unfortunately light gives the wrong heights for the other problems as the 'BRE Guidelines' have established.

    We are confident that the DTLR will find the best solution possible.

    Contents of this page | Index pages

  • Change of Plans for DTLR Advice Leaflet

    The DTLR has made some changes in the thinking on the DTLR Advice Leaflet.

    It has confirmed that the'BRE Guidelines' cannot act as a proxy for hedge problems other than those specifically caused by light and summer sunlight deprivation and have conceded that the overwhelming majority of victims will not be helped by the single light criterion as interpreted in the the 'BRE Guidelines' on hedge height and light loss.

    We owe thanks to our closest political allies in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to our S.W. Area Organiser for his excellent calculations and diagrams and to those Hedgeline Keyworkers who have rumbled down to London, sometimes very early in the morning, for meetings in the DTLR.


    Contents of this page | Index pages

  • Baroness Gardner of Parkes and Lord Ted Graham of Edmonton Put Our Case to the Minister in Charge.

    Baroness Gardner of Parkes and Lord Ted Graham of Edmonton, put our point of view to Lord Falconer, the Government Minister most closely concerned with 'high hedge policy' in a meeting on the evening of Wednesday 10th April.

    They put across the points about excessive hedge heights mentioned in the 'BRE Guidelines' very Bly indeed and stressed the damage which could be inflicted by the Government mentioning such hedge heights either in a Government Advice Leaflet or in subsequent legislation.

    The points were listened to but no promises were made. Lady Gardner says we can only hope and pray that the Government will look again at the worst aspects of what has been proposed.

    Lady Gardner and Lord Graham also pressed the Minister on the subject of legislation. We are told that there was some indication that the Government are considering ways of getting the Bill through Parliament but nothing more definite than this as yet.

    If these experienced and respected politicians, both fully convinced of the reasonableness of our arguments, and representing cross party interests, cannot convince the Minister, then I fear no one can. We will hope and pray.

    Contents of this page | Index pages

  • Hedgeline is asking the Government to take a firm line with bully hedge growers. March 26th 2002
  • We need hedges of the heights which accord with what people choose for their own gardens of a given size (observable, verifiable normal practice), i.e. 2 metres in small and average gardens.

  • We want a clear recognition that ground floor to ground floor privacy (2 m) is all that can be absolutely expected in an urban/suburban situation and therefore all that a grower can impose on an unwilling neighbour who has a small or average garden.

  • We do not want any further official mention of the unreasonable hedge heights set out in the 'BRE Guidelines', in the forthcoming advice Leaflet, in subsequent legislation, or elsewhere.

    1. These are high hedges, would deny a hedge victim any winter sunlight to his windows, would be very oppressive, ruin the victim's amenity and would, in many cases, make the house virtually unsaleable.

    2. These would be taken as a Government recommended heights. They would encourage the growing of problem hedges.

  • We need the inequalities of the power over hedges ironed out by clear and effective legislation and an end to the outdated legislation situation which breeds resentment, dispute, bullying and much suffering.



    The 'BRE Guidelines' and the proposed Leaflet based on them.

    Hedgeline's considered opinions

    The arguments we have put to the Government

    Leaflet Worse than Nothing. We are being Sold Down the River.

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