Derelict and overgrown land
Land, including gardens, which has become unused and overgrown can be unsightly and lead to environmental crimes, such as littering and fly-tipping.
Taking action yourself
Unkempt or slightly overgrown land isn't sufficient to enable you to take action unless it's breaking the law.
You cannot trespass onto neighbouring land to remove any rubbish or foliage yourself without getting the permission of the landowner first.
If neighbouring hedges, brambles or trees are causing problems, you are entitled to prune or remove anything that comes over onto your side of the boundary although, by law, you should offer any clippings back to your neighbour.
However, some trees can have a Tree Preservation Order placed upon them and you can be fined if you remove anything other than dead wood.
What our Council can do
We have a range of powers to deal with unused or overgrown land depending on the nature of the problem.
If there is evidence that the land is having an effect on the local community because it is providing food and a home for pests then we can require the landowner to take action.
If the land is having rubbish dumped on it then we can take legal action against whoever is dumping the rubbish, or take action against the landowner to get them to do something to stop the land being targeted.
If the land is in a state which is ‘detrimental to the amenity’ of a neighbourhood or is ‘detrimental to the quality of life of those in the locality’ we may be able to take action. Both of these have a very particular meaning in law so you will need to discuss the detailed circumstances of any problem with one of our officers to see if we can do anything.
We can provide a service to help deal with high hedges.
To report a problem please use the below online form.