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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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We have a fence between my property and my neighbours property. At

Customer Question

We have a fence between my property and my neighbours property.
At the beginning of this year my neighbour planted a row of plants down through his side of the boundary. This now appears to be trees which are already up to my chest in places.
Have I any rights to stop this person blocking my view of surrounding countryside, especially as there has never been a hedge or treelike before.
Ray Tilbury
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Law Denning :

Do you know the type of trees he has planted?

JACUSTOMER-2me4caex- :


Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question.

This might concern the right to 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 you can do provided 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 if
it blocks a TV signal, you will have to make other arrangements. There is already
case law on that.

The right to light is different. If you acquired the right to
light (it depends how old the property is, you may have 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 acquired
provided the light has been uninterrupted for at least 20years. However, this
right applies most commonly to a building, and more particularly, to the window
through which the light enters.


The light must be reduced by at least 50% into a habitable room before
the right is deemed obstructed. Let me tell you now that 50% is an awful lot of
light and most cases it will not even be approaching that in most circumstances.
You would need to get a specialist surveyor with experience in right to light


BUT, if a title specifically excludes the right to light, there is
nothing you can do regarding light . This is most common if your land used to
belong to next door. You would need to check the deeds.



A person cannot make an adjoining
property owner cut the trees per se but please see my later comments about
trespass and nuisance.

Consent is needed to trim
deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence
may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.

Evergreens cannot usually have a

Regarding evergreens, a complaint
can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree
legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they
find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them
down to 2 m high.

With regard to branches and roots
growing boundary, these are nuisance and trespass. The overhanging pieces can
be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they do not belong to
anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be given back although
if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without warning, it is not
good for already fraught neighbour relation

The following are links will give
you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry
about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.


These are however not evergreen
so whilst you can trim overhangs you cannot compel them cut down to 2m high.

Can I help further?


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