UKTC Archive

RE: High hedge complaint fees

Subject: RE: High hedge complaint fees
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Sep 04 2017 12:18:24
Err, well, the principle is that yes the complainant should pay because it is 
a private dispute, that is not in the public interest, and therefore should 
not be paid for at public expense. 

Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Andy Clout
Sent: 30 August 2017 10:56
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: High hedge complaint fees

Alastair, I concur regarding the costs incurred by the Council in assessing 
such complaints. However, when one compares how much time TO's are spending 
giving free advice on tree works to those affected by tree controls, 
comparison of where charges are made and how much they should be becomes more 
complex. Should the complainant have to pay if the evidence they have to put 
forward shows a realistic problem being experienced? No other planning 
enforcement complainants attract a fee.

Bearing in mind the paperwork trail that needs to accompany a hedge complaint 
application (proof of attempting to discuss with hedge owner, involve 
mediation etc.), does anyone know whether a successful claim by a complainant 
to recoup the cost in the small claims court is viable/has been done, if the 
Council issue a remedial notice on the hedge and latter appeal does not alter 
the extent of cutting required?

We currently charge £500.  Presumably above that figure attempting to recoup 
fee costs would be more problematic?

Andy Clout
Landscape and Tree Officer
Planning Services
Waverley Borough Council
Direct line: 01483 XXXXXX
www.waverley.gov.uk


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Alastair Durkin
Sent: Tuesday 29 August 2017 12:11
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: High hedge complaint fees

Thanks Jon that’s really helpful. The problem is that these things can drag 
on and on, and end up being complex with no way of recouping further 
spending. On average we spend a lot more than £500.


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Jon
Sent: 29 August 2017 12:05
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: High hedge complaint fees

I have a spreadsheet (the name of Charles Bennett shows up so I guess it is 
his work) from late 2013.
This shows a range of £150 (Epsom) to £650 (Sevenoaks) for non metropolitan 
districts. Checking their websites now Epsom is asking for £400 and Sevenoaks 
is still £650.
Wokingham (Unitary council apparently) charges £751.80 (today's price). 
That's the tallest price I have found!
There were a few showing as low as £150...for example Lewisham which appears 
to be in a state of denial (their website reads "If you have concerns about 
trees or hedges owned by a neighbour, we strongly encourage that you treat 
this as a personal matter and attempt to resolve the issue between 
yourselves.   We cannot intervene unless the tree is subject to a tree 
preservation order, or is in a conservation area."......providing no 
reference to the high hedge resolution service or charges!) Average across 
the lot was around £338.
Julian's figures for Scotland (2014?) range to £450. Jon



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