Russell griffiths

What could possibly go wrong

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Evening all. 

The house we live in at the moment whilst we build the new one, has a front garden with a fairly fast country road running past it. 

Now two years ago the view across the road was pleasant so we put up with a bit of traffic noise because of the nice view, however the view has changed as the landowner across the road planted a new hedge which is now 1.5m high so our view has gone, so we might as well try and cut down the road noise. 4392B9CD-C2C8-48A9-ACF5-35FEBD33518C.thumb.png.f33723e43118de2508175bebc7b4007e.png215DB972-1895-45FE-928A-04A2B9401417.thumb.png.08cf41552635eeb0a1c2155e6e52f2c6.png

What I would like to do is plant my own hedge on the inside of the low wall you can see in the pics. 

However this will really impede my neighbour getting out of her drive. 

Is there anything legally I need to look out for ??

am I allowed to plant what I want ??

 

FYI  I hate her and couldn’t give a Monkey’s if she can see or not. 

As far as I’m concerned when her house was built they should have built in an adequate vision splay. ( this is something I used to do a lot of at work). 

FYI. Her house was built in my side garden by a previous owner who was a builder, so my front wall and her house where built at the same time, so he could have designed it any way he wanted. 

Are there any rules about planting a set distance from your boundaries 

she likes to go around bullying my other neighbour with verses from the high hedge act ( which I also know a lot about) 

i have looked through my house deeds and there are no restrictive covenants on anything I can see. 

 

Anybody have a view. 

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I had some interesting discussions with Highways when I was sorting out the vsibility splay for my build.

 

Initially the planners wanted me to "demonstrate control" over the area of the visibility splay but that would have meant having control over 2 neighbours front gardens.

 

However the discussion with highways concluded that I did not need to demonstrate control as THEY had control, and if any neighbour plants anything that block my visibility, to contact them and they would arrange it's removal.

 

It is not clear from the pictures but it look like from next doors entrance, your low wall is already set back from the edge of the road?

 

Or is the neigbours entrance you are talking about where the red car is parked?

 

You already have a bush right on the wall so I can't see a whole hedge would make any difference.

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Is a hedge going to make any real difference to the noise? Even if a mature hedge would do something, you won't have one of those for a few years unless you're willing to spend an awful lot more money on very big plants.

 

Hate her or not, I'd be avoiding any angst. Plenty enough of that with managing a build. 

 

If it's your house, you also don't want to have to disclose a dispute to potential buyers, and it sounds like this would be priming the situation for such a thing to arise.

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Ignoring the relationship with the neighbour, then there are really only two things that matter. 

 

The first is "is there anything in the title to your house that specifies that you have an obligation to maintain a visibility splay?"  Should be recorded somewhere, but may possibly be in a planning condition (which may mean that it's not actually valid if that hasn't been recorded with the title to your house).

 

Assuming that there is no obligation on you to maintain a visibility splay, then the restriction will the standard one in planning law: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/20/fences_gates_and_garden_walls

 

Note the condition regarding a driver's sight line; generally this applies when there is a defined visibility splay, but not otherwise.

 

In essence, you cannot erect a fence that's taller than 1m high on a boundary that faces a highway, without getting planning consent.  You can however plant a hedge in these circumstances without needing planning consent.  I have no idea why planning treats hedges differently from fences, but it does.  I've taken advantage of the freedom to plant a hedge along a boundary facing a highway by planting a row of trees, some of which are over 4m high.

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50 minutes ago, jack said:

Is a hedge going to make any real difference to the noise? 

 

No it won't, follage has to be dense and thick to stop significant noise

Edited by Moonshine

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Ok bit more input, the neighbours drive in question is the one with the red car on it. 

 

Our front wall was actually built 3-4 feet in from the road edge

 

regarding noise, that was badly worded, I’m more interested in cutting out the view of the passing cars. 

 

Regarding anything on our deeds, there is a covenant saying I cannot impede any visibility to the driveway of the property to the left of the White House, that’s ok as that’s our other place we are building now. There is a map in the deeds detailing an area that must have no structure over 2 feet high, this is on the exact opposite side to the corner I would like to plant in. 

 

Regarding having to disclose any past disputes to future buyers. 🤣🤣🤣 oh god it would be like a 50 page novel. 

 

Regarding selling, we believe (unless it all go pear shaped) that we won’t be selling. 

 

 

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I would just do it.

 

The trouble is, you really really don't want to be planting Leylandii But just about anything else is going to take some time before it is a useful hedge.

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Sounds as if you're OK to plant a hedge, from my interpretation of the planning rules.  There's long been debates about what constitutes the "boundary with the highway" too, as in theory it would seem that a 1m high fence could be built on that boundary, a a 2m high one erected a couple of feet behind it, without breaching the requirement for planning consent.  I've a feeling we discussed this a while ago, perhaps relating to @Bitpipe's front hedge?

 

The driver's sight line referred to in the planning guidance relates primarily to the sight line from road junctions, not that from  private drive ways.  In general, unless there is a specific condition or covenant that applies, there is no legal obligation for anyone to provide a clear sight line from a neighbours drive.  If there was then about 90% or more of the drives in our village would have a major problem, including ours and our neighbours!

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The law on fences and boundaries seems to have been relaxed.  Now it just states "on a boundary"  Before, it used to be anything between the building line and the highway could only be 1M high.  so previously any fence, even one 6" in front of the house over 1M would need PP.  Now it is a very grey area.

 

If the wall was built 3-4 feed from the road (and the road surface now seems to have crept up to the wall) is it the case that your "boundary" is 3-4 feet in front of the wall?  If so it is now arguable that putting a 2M high fence just behind the wall is not "on the boundary"

 

I might be inclined to put up a fence.  If challenged by planning, get them to give a definitive answer how far back you have to put it to make it "not on the boundary" and move it to where they say.

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I would plant it anyway, if you did loose the fight you can always trim it back, found this about laurel, I had one and it grey like mad.

 

Evergreen (keeps its leaves all year round)
Least expensive non-conifer hedging plant
The best hedging plant for shady sites
Tough & Hardy
Grows in most soils
Available in larger sizes

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I planted a Laurel hedge in front of the last house.

 

It has yet to reach 1M let alone 2. On the plus side hardly ever needs trimming.  Perhaps not a plant for the Highlands?

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I read about a case recently, where a council had told a bloke to take down the fence along his front boundary. 2mt high. He told the enforcement officer to sod off. The guy then got an enforcement notice. Told the council to sod off. The council then told him they would take him to court, and get an order for them to remove the fence, and charge him for the cost, and all the legal fees. He told them to sod off.

Ended up in court, and because the hearing was near to the fellas' house, the judge said, "Lets go and take a look"    They rocked up at the house, and the judge stood of the edge of the tarmac, which was the boundary, and stuck out his arm. Did'nt say a lot, and returned to court. The judge then said to the councils representatives in court, that if the fence had been either on or very near the boundary, that he would have been able to touch it with his outstretched arm. As he could'nt the fence could not be considered to be on the boundary, or even near it.... The result was he told the council to sod off.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

I planted a Laurel hedge in front of the last house.

 

It has yet to reach 1M let alone 2. On the plus side hardly ever needs trimming.  Perhaps not a plant for the Highlands?

 

My neighbours did the same and their hedge hasn't grown much either so perhaps not good for the coastal Lowlands either. I bought some griselinia as recommended by someone on here and it's grown amazingly well in just 12 months. 

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29 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

Nice beech hedge I think. 

 

Copper beech is nice!. We have some beech hedging (green) but it struggles a bit with our clay/boggy ground, I have been told Hornbeam does better on damp ground and is very similar in appearance.

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18 hours ago, JSHarris said:

Sounds as if you're OK to plant a hedge, from my interpretation of the planning rules.  There's long been debates about what constitutes the "boundary with the highway" too, as in theory it would seem that a 1m high fence could be built on that boundary, a a 2m high one erected a couple of feet behind it, without breaching the requirement for planning consent.  I've a feeling we discussed this a while ago, perhaps relating to @Bitpipe's front hedge?

 

The driver's sight line referred to in the planning guidance relates primarily to the sight line from road junctions, not that from  private drive ways.  In general, unless there is a specific condition or covenant that applies, there is no legal obligation for anyone to provide a clear sight line from a neighbours drive.  If there was then about 90% or more of the drives in our village would have a major problem, including ours and our neighbours!

 

Don't think it was me - we had a thick mature beech hedge, about 9ft high, at the edge of the front boundary which made it impossible to see into the road when leaving the house - we had permission to remove it and replace with a planter wall set back a few m from the road which looks much better and is safer.

 

What I do remember is a neighbour, who is a conveyancing solicitor and was the major objector to our PP (7 page legalese letter, all dismissed by planning), tried to suggest that the hedge be subject to a TPO to preserve it, but the council said that hedges are plants not trees so can't be protected.

 

 

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