Hello, I am LawDenning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have beenan expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as youappreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on avariety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients andcourt and other users, I might not alwaysrespond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with mein that case
This is a very common question. Aperson cannot make an adjoining property owner cut the trees per se but pleasesee my later comments about trespass and nuisance.
Consent is needed to trimdeciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licencemay be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.
Evergreens cannot usually have aTPO.
Regarding evergreens, a complaintcan be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance treelegislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if theyfind that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut themdown to 2 m high.
With regard to branches and rootsgrowing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. Theoverhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but theydo not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should begiven back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge withoutwarning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.
The following are links will giveyou some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worryabout where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.
Regarding the light:
Let me say first, there is no right to a view. If this blocks the view,then that is indeed unfortunate, There is nothing in law an owner can doprovided it isnt a nuisance and there is no breach of any consent.
I will add that there is also no right to a TV signal either so ifit blocks a TV signal, other arrangements will have to be made. There isalready case law on that.
The right to light is different. If a property has acquired theright to light (it depends how old the property is, there may be a remedy.
There is no absolute right to light from across neighbouring land,although this right can be ‘earned'.
Under the Prescription Act 1832 a right to light can be acquiredprovided the light has been uninterrupted for at least 20years. However, thisright applies most commonly to a building, and more particularly, to the windowthrough which the light enters.
The light must be reduced by at least 50% before the right isdeemed obstructed. Let me tell you now that 50% is an awful lot of light and itwill not even be approaching that in most circumstances. A specialist surveyorwith experience in right to light matters would be essential from the likes of http://www.right-of-light.co.uk/
you will find the site most useful and the calculation is herehttp://www.right-of-light.co.uk/calculations.htm
BUT, if a title specifically excludes the right to light, there isnothing an owner can do regarding light . This is most common if both e piecesused to belong to the same person and one part was sold off and the sellerexcluded right to light. You need to check the deeds.
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