Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act you are allowed access to the neighbour’s land for any work required to preserve your property (maintain it). If the neighbour will not agree, then you can take the neighbour to court and get a court order to make them.
You have to cause as little damage as possible and you have to put right any damage you do course.
In respect of any plants blocking your light, light would have to be reduced by 50% or more before it becomes actionable. There is no right .
The right to light must not be excluded in your deeds. You must also have acquired the right by having the windows in place for at least 20 years.
If the wall is your wall, you are entitled to have the Ivy removed because it is trespassing.
If the roots of any plants damage the foundations of your property, whoever owns the plants is liable for that damage.
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There is no legal distance for trees or bushes from a house although the roots will normally extend to the same height as the tree.
There is no legal distance for access although foot access is deemed to be something wide enough to take a wheelbarrow (of all things) which is about 32 inches, the width of an external door.
If you need access to preserve/maintain your property and you can’t do so without damaging part of the garden, it is just a case of keeping that to a minimum and reinstating afterwards.
Incidentally, I know that many window companies will replace windows from the inside and certainly, the glass can be fitted from the inside so the actual window fitting might be less problematical than you think. It would be worthwhile speaking to the glazing company about this if you have not already.
I am pleased to have helped. I would certainly mention to the window company because if they can do it, it would make it easier for them. They are used to difficult access arrangements.
An access way needing to be the right of a wheelbarrow refers to foot access, not the kind of access that you would need to do repairs to your property. There is nothing about there having to be any width at all to do that. In your case, the 32 inches isn’t relevant because it is not a formal access which you need.
Regarding the Ivy, if you cut it down, and do so without consent, it is criminal damage. If they won’t cut it down, and won’t allow you to cut it down, then it’s an application to court to abate the trespass
The 32 inches only applies to a formal right-of-way. There is no statutory obligation to provide a right-of-way or access of any or description, the Act only says that they must provide “reasonable access”without saying what it is.
Light must be reduced by 50% before its actionable assuming that the window has been in place for more than 20 years and hence the right of light has been acquired and assuming it is not excluded in your deeds.
If this does become a problem, and they don’t want to assist you, it’s very difficult to get a remedy without upsetting them. If you can do it early on, with diplomacy, that’s fantastic.