Most hedges provide a suitable garden boundary but some can cause problems for neighbouring properties at points.
This can be for a variety of reasons, including that they are not properly maintained, allowed to grow too tall, or are unsuitable for their location.
Some hedge species grow at a rapid rate and can have adverse effects for those living in their shadow. Sometimes the person planting the hedge is unaware of the size it may reach when mature.
The High Hedges (Guernsey) Law, 2016 ("the Law") came into effect on Monday 2nd October 2017. This provides a remedy for when neighbours disagree on what should be done about a high hedge. The Law enables people experiencing significant problems with high hedges causing a barrier to light, and who have not been able to resolve their dispute through discussion with their neighbour, to make a complaint to the Development & Planning Authority. A copy of the Law can be found in the downloads section of the page.
The enforcement and high hedge notice websearch provides information on notices served on unauthorised developments or in respect of high hedges. To find High Hedge Notices that have been served, you can search on the property address or surname of recipient, or by using selected date parameters.
High Hedge Guidance
The Development & Planning Authority have prepared Practice Notes 11 & 12 which contain guidance for both the owner of a high hedge (Practice Note 12) and their neighbour (Practice Note 11) to enable clear understanding of the process. These documents can be found in the downloads section of this page.
The Practice Notes are issued by the Development & Planning Authority under section 31 of the Law to assist with the understanding of the provisions of the Law. They represent the Authority's interpretation of certain provisions of the legislation and are not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for the full text of the legislation.
In considering a complaint, the Authority will have regard to the guidance titled "Hedge Height and Light Loss" which can also be found in the downloads section. This guidance is consistent with the provisions of the High Hedges (Guernsey) Law, 2016 and other relevant Guernsey legislation, practices and procedures. Whilst this provides useful practical guidance, it includes references to UK bodies and to UK legislation in relation to high hedges which does not apply in Guernsey. The guidance contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
The Development & Planning Authority ask that the guidance is read carefully before a complaint form is completed.
The complaint form can be found in the downloads section or can be obtained from the Planning Service at Sir Charles Frossard House.