Home Hedges and Trees - Sections 1 and 6

Hedges and Trees - Sections 1 and 6

A Building Owner has the right, subject to notice served on the Adjoining Owner, to build a wall wholly on his own land with or without necessary projecting foundations. By the same token the Building Owner has, subject to notice, the right to excavate his land up to the Line of Junction.  In exercising these rights it is sometimes found that there are hedges and trees on or adjacent to the Line of Junction planted on the Adjoining Owner’s land with branches and roots growing over and under the land of the Building Owner respectively.  An owner of land, whether a Building Owner as defined in the Act or not, has a common law right to cut away parts of the tree or hedge projecting onto or over neighbouring land.

Where it is necessary to cut back hedge or tree growth to the Line of Junction, the owners of such hedges and trees should be notified of the intention and this is important where the plant growth is causing damage to the Building Owner’s property.  Ideally the tree owner should be asked to take appropriate action before the Building Owner commences work.

Where the tree owner fails to take appropriate action the Building Owner may cut away the overhanging growth but not in such manner as to cause damage to buildings or indeed people.

It should be noted that under the provisions of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 works that are considered necessary for the preservation of the land includes the treatment, cutting back, felling, removal or replacement of any hedge, tree, shrub or other growing thing which is so compromised and which is or is in danger of becoming damaged, diseased, dangerous, insecurely rooted or dead.  This however does not give the right of a Building Owner to access an Adjoining Owner’s land for the purposes of cutting down trees.  That would be best dealt with under the provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

Keith Douglas FRICS. MCIArb
29 July 2014