The High Hedges Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 provides a legal basis for taking action over a problem high hedge. It will help people who are adversely affected by high hedges bordering their domestic property.

What is a high hedge?

Any evergreen and semi-evergreen hedges that are more than two metres in height and affecting light reaching a neighbouring domestic property. The Act introduces a formal complaints system that will be operated by local councils, but it should only be used as a last resort as neighbours are encouraged to resolve the problem themselves. nidirect has useful information about resolving disputes:


The legislation will not mean that all hedges above two metres in height will need to be cut down. A complaint cannot be made about single trees or single shrubs, whatever their size. Nor will people need council permission to grow or retain a hedge along the boundary of their property. Councils will only intervene in circumstances where a complaint is made.  Complainants must demonstrate that they have tried to resolve the issue with the owner of the hedge before making a formal complaint. Even then, each case will be determined on its own merits.  In addition, the High Hedges Act excludes areas of forest or woodland (greater than 0.2 hectares in area).

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