My neighbour has a hedge of evergreens on the boundary which is approaching nine feet in height. It blocks out much of the sunlight from my garden. I have asked him to reduce the height but so far no response. What can I do?

It is always advisable to approach your neighbour direct with your concern, as you have done. Your neighbour has not responded, so you do have recourse to legal redress under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.

Under the legislation, hedges can legally be up to two metres in height and are defined as a boundary which is formed wholly or predominantly of evergreens or semi-evergreens. Although there is not always an automatic right to light, if the sunlight is too minimal it can be considered detrimental to you and your enjoyment of life.

If your neighbour is unresponsive, you can contact the Local Authority to make a formal complaint for which there is a fee of approximately £400. The local authority will investigate and has the authority to make a ruling and issue an order to cut back the hedge. As this is an order your neighbour cannot refuse and the local authority has enforcement powers.

I advise you to try to maintain good relations with your neighbour wherever possible, so do approach him again before you make any formal complaint.

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