Hedgerow removal and hedgerow protection

You will need permission from the council to remove or destroy certain hedgerows. You will need to give us six weeks notice of your intention to remove a hedgerow if it grows in: 

  • or borders agricultural land
  • forests
  • common land
  • nature reserves

You can apply online to notify the council of your intention to remove a hedgerow

High hedges

Overgrown hedges on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. In extreme cases or where a solution cannot be found between neighbours, we can intervene and take action under the 'high hedges legislation 2005', however you will need to be aware of the following:

  • the legislation only concerns the height of hedges that are mainly evergreen or semi evergreen, it does not cover trees or deciduous hedges (those that drop their leaves)
  • the legislation does not cover the width of hedges
  • the hedge will need to be more than two metres tall
  • complaints do not always result in us asking that the hedge be cut down, we will look at each complaint on a case by case basis
  • before we become involved, we would need to see evidence that you tried to resolve the matter with the hedge owner, this will also need to be shown in your complaint
  • there is a fee to involve the council and the current charge is £300

To make a complaint you will need to download and complete the high hedges complaint form and guidance notes (you can use this form for hedges in the Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough).

These guides have also been prepared to help you:

Landscape

The landscape of an area is always taken into account in any development proposal. As part of this, the Suffolk landscape has been mapped and assessed, you can find out more at Suffolk landscape