Glasgow City Council

High Hedges

Customer information for potential applications

The High Hedges Act 2013 came into force on 1st April 2014, the definition of a high hedge is a hedge that is:

  • formed wholly or mainly by a row of two or more trees or shrubs;
  • rises to a height of more than 2 metres above ground level; and
  • forms a barrier to light (unless gaps significantly mitigate its overall effect as a barrier at heights of more than 2 metres above ground level). (Can apply to part of a hedge).

Affected property

An affected property must be a domestic property,  the definition of which is "any part of a building in Scotland which is occupied, or intended to be occupied, as a separate dwelling", and "a yard, garden, garage or outhouse in Scotland which belongs to such a building or is usually enjoyed with it".

If land ownership is not known the applicant must take all reasonable steps to identify owners, including making enquiries with Registers of Scotland, Companies House.

Prior to submitting an application

A High Hedge application is intended to be used as a last resort in a small minority of cases where disputes cannot be resolved by other means. The Act emphasises that potential applicants "must take all reasonable steps to resolve the matters in relation to the high hedge" before making an application.

The Act also enables local authorities to issue their own guidance on pre-application requirements. Consequently, before an application can be validated, the council will require evidence that the applicant has met the following criteria to enable submission of an application:

  • ensure the hedge is within the council's area (the council will assist, if necessary).
  • ensure the hedge falls within the definition of a high hedge (see above);
  • ensure the applicant is the owner or occupier of the domestic property affected by the Hedge;
  • ensure the hedge specified in the application is on land owned or occupied by another person;
  • provide written proof of attempts to resolve the situation with the hedge owner over a period of at least six months prior to contacting the council;  proof of a final letter stating that the matter, if unresolved, may be referred to the council for possible action; and
  • ensure the application is accompanied by the appropriate fee, which for Glasgow City Council is £500.

Please Note: the role of the Council is not to mediate between the parties but to act as an impartial decision maker.

Make an application

An application can be made online at ePlanning Scotland.  Further information please refer to our guidance on how to make an application.

Dismissal of an application

The Council must dismiss an application if it considers: -

  • reasonable steps have not been taken to resolve the matter before approaching the council;
  • the complaint is frivolous or vexatious; or
  • the situation is not applicable to the legislation (e.g. non-domestic property, single high trees which do not form a High Hedge)

The council must inform the applicant of the decision to dismiss the application together with reasons. The council must consider applications on a case by case basis, including whether any changes have occurred in a situation where a Notice was previously not considered appropriate.

Withdrawing an application

An application can be withdrawn at any time before the council makes a decision. If mutual agreement is reached before a decision is made, then the application should be withdrawn.

Refund of fee

Once an application has been made valid and is being progressed, the fee will not be refunded.

Further guidance

Please follow the link below to the Scottish Government High Hedges and Supplementary Guidance.

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