Douglas Borough Council is reminding householders to keep hedges, trees and shrubs trimmed or cut back to the boundary line of their property, as required under Section 51 of the Highways Act 1986.
Legislation requires that such vegetation does not extend beyond a property’s boundaries, cause an obstruction or interfere with street lighting or the view of drivers of vehicles. Failure to comply could lead to the Council serving a Notice on the owner or occupier.
Housing Committee Chairman Councillor David Ashford said: ‘The majority of householders are considerate in such matters. There have, however, been instances where hedges and trees have been allowed to grow unchecked, overhanging the pavement or roadway to the extent that they pose a very real risk to pedestrians and motorists and cause loss of light to neighbouring properties. In such cases it will always be the Council’s policy to alert offending householders in writing in the first instance. Should they fail to comply within the time specified, however, our bye-laws officers will have no hesitation in serving an official Notice.’
Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP added: ‘The primary reason for ensuring property owners comply with the legislation is, of course, public safety. The Council recognises, though, that trees, hedges and shrubs in private gardens enhance neighbourhoods and help to create a sense of community, so is committed to doing all it can to uphold environmental and high quality of life standards throughout the Borough.’
This website provides details of the legislation, advice on garden hedges and what to do should your property be affected by a neighbour’s overhanging trees or shrubs.