Do You Need Planning Permission To Remove (or cut) A Garden Hedge? Find Out Here!

Written By James
Updated June 29, 2021 by James

Do You Need Planning Permission To Remove (or cut) A Garden Hedge? Find Out Here!

Should I Get Planning Permission To Remove My Hedge?

If you have a boundary hedge running through your garden or a garden hedge of your own that needs removing, you might be wondering if you would need planning permission for the removal of hedges. 

While you don't need planning permission to remove your private hedge, some are protected hedges, so you would need to check yours is not protected by the law, same goes if your hedge runs across the main road or is a boundary hedge, as both neighbours would need to be in agreement of the removal. 

So as you can decide whether or not you might need planning permission to remove your hedge or even plant one in your garden we have composed a short information guide below to help you out.

Can I Remove The Hedge In My Garden? 

You have every right to remove a hedge in your garden if it is your own and is not shared on the property boundary with your neighbour, you should also check in the property deeds that it is possible to remove the hedge without having to contact the authority for permission. 

If your hedge makes contact with your local road or village side you will be able to remove the hedge only with permission from the local council.

As long as you planted the hedge in your garden you have total control to remove the hedges without permission needed.

When You Should Not Remove a Hedge In Your Garden

Although it is unlikely you will ever need planning permission to remove a hedge, there are some situations where you might need to contact appropriate authorities to do so or have a conversation with your reasonable neighbours, we have listed a few situations where you might not be able to remove a hedge on your property below. 

It's On The Property Boundary

First of all, you need to ensure that your hedge in your garden is not shared with your neighbour, if it is, then you will need to ask the neighbours about property deeds as well as if they would be happy for you to remove it.

As this hedge is technically shared, both parties would have to agree to remove the plant.

It Is Part Of Common Land Or Town

If your hedge is part of the town or land next to a street or highway, you might need to seek council approval to make sure you can remove the hedge without any issues occurring, however, if the hedge is within your property boundary you should have rights to remove it.

You Hedge Is a Home For Lives Of Birds 

It could be possible that your hedge is a home for a wild bird or two, in this case, it would be illegal to remove your hedge as it is protected under the wildlife and countryside act in the UK, you should always double-check if your hedge is home to wild birds before undertaking any maintenance or removal.

Can I Plant a Hedge Without Planning Permission? 

You can plant a hedge in your garden freely without planning permission, if it crosses the property boundary without consent from your neighbour you would need approval first from them to avoid any disputes. 

It is important that if you decide to plant a hedge between the boundary line of you and your neighbours garden you must make sure that it is maintained well. 

We have listed some tips below for hedge planting to avoid any hedge disputes. 

  • Choose the best hedge - When choosing the hedge that you are going to plant make sure it is a type that you can easily maintain, this will prevent it from getting out of control.
  • Communicate with your neighbour - It is very important to discuss the hedge with your neighbour when planting it to make sure both parties fully understand what is going to happen, ensure your neighbour is happy with the decision.
  • Keep it maintained - Your neighbour has the right to complain if your hedge gets of control and above the height of 2m, keep on top of trimming to save any disputes from happening.
  • Allow your neighbour to trim the other side - As long as your neighbour is happy with the decision for you two to have a hedge crossing the boundary line then you should allow them to maintain their side of the hedge as they wish, never trespass on to your neighbour's property to cut the hedge.

How To Remove a Hedge From Your Garden

If you have decided that you are going to remove a hedge from your garden to make it more open and let more light in, or maybe to install a lower maintenance divider such as a fence, the process is fairly simple, we have listed a few steps below to get you started when removing your hedge plants. 

  • Step one - Firstly, to make your life easier, spray the whole hedge plants leaves with a herbicide, this will expose the foliage on the hedge and make it easier to cut down later on.
  • Step two - Start cutting down the hedge with shears or a chainsaw working from the top hedge height to the bottom, leave some of the stump left if you are planning to pull it out later, if you want to let it decompose naturally then cut it right down to the bottom.
  • Step three - Now you have cut the tall hedge down, get rid of fallen down foilage and paint the stump of your hedge with herbicide to kill it, for unruly hedges which are likely to grow back, this step is very important.
  • Step four - You can either leave the stump to decompose in the ground naturally or grab the stump and pull it away, this might be very time-consuming, however. 

Final Words 

To conclude, you do not need planning permission to remove a hedge in your garden as long as it is not protected, home to birds, a boundary hedge or a community hedge. It is always best if you are unsure about the legal status of your hedge to contact the authorities first before removal, removing a hedge illegally can have consequences if not approved by the authorities.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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