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My new neighbours are not living at the property yet, but a 'handyman' has been and has been relpacing a wire and post fence predating my 19 years here and erecting a 6 foot fence panel & concrete post on a 1foot concrete kickboard all the way along the boundary, destroying the growh that was there, but today I have noticed he's cut down a tree up near the end of my garden that was on my side of this boundary and has not asked permission to do so. I have already complained to the Council weeks ago when the fence started to go up about the height of it which although measures one inch off seven foot I was told is within legal limits due to his ground being heigher, but nothing has been discussed with me by him, or permission asked and I know he has come onto my land to erect the fence in places and to take down the old greengage tree that was there on my side three days ago. The old original post and wire fence went between my tree and another younger tree growing out the base which has gone too. Please advise me on my legal rights. Thanks. Michelle



This sounds rather complicated, I'd advise contacting a solicitor or at the very least the Citizens Advise Bureau. Your council don't seem to have been very helpful. Good luck...I for one would be going mad.

24 Oct, 2012


Thanks Waddy, I am livid and yes I will have to speak to someone about it. The Council seemed to uphold the fact that the fence he has been erecting the last couple of months and digging out the trees in there, is within legal limits, so I thought let sleeping dogs lie, and let it be, trying to accept the new fence, but this is just ridiculous and he's done it and be damned without even asking me, its like its two fingers up at me perhaps for asking what my rights were with the Council in the first place. They apparently did speak to him at the time they came to investigate my concerns over its height. Waddy, I have lived here 19 years with no fence all the way up (my garden is 150 foot by 15 or so feet) except the original wire and posts, which were put in long ago and were only 2 and a half to 3 foot high and now I have something that is more like a solid brick wall than a boundary of shrubs and old trees. My old tree (a greengage) had died recently, but it was a wildlife haven for the birds and colonised by ivy and stretched over more than halfway over my garden's width (approx 15 foot wide from boundary to boundary.) My son is hopping mad but he lives 400 miles away said I should call the police, but I need to calm down before I say or do anything. Thank you for answering. I much appreciate your advice and CAB sounds a good bet to me. :^)

24 Oct, 2012


They should not have removed a boundary fence without asking you, even if in the deeds the fence belongs to them as it is common courtesy. They also should not have cut down a tree, dead or otherwise in your side of the boundary.

The positives are:

You do not have to remove a dangerous rotting tree - it will have fallen down at some point.

Your garden is now more sheltered, so plants should grow better.

I would calm down as there is no point in being angry now.

24 Oct, 2012


By law a neighbour is only allowed to cut off any thing that over hangs, to fence level, top or side, he is not allowed by law to cut your tree when cutting over hang it must then be given back to the owner as if not it is classed as stealing, I too would be furious. If this is your new neighbours handyman goodness knows what your new neighbours be like, is he acting on their instructions. I would confront him

24 Oct, 2012


I understand why you're annoyed and the removal of your tree which was on your property is totally unacceptable.

However if the council says the tall fence is OK I guess there's little you can do about it.

At least you won't see the people because of the fence.

24 Oct, 2012


I advise you to go for a walk and rethink your anger. Whats done is done and legally you will gain nothing and it may well cost you a lot to try. You have to live next door to these new neighbours and its best to be friendly and forgiving. After all you will benefit from a smart new fence that gives lots of privacy and cost you nothing and after 19 years the old fencing must have been passed its best.

24 Oct, 2012


Whilst I agree that what has happened is wrong and I myself would be as mad as goodness knows what. Try to look on the positive. Trying to get some sort of redress could cost you a lot of time, energy and heartache. The potential legal fees could be huge (if not found to your advantage) why not consider purchasing good sized replacements which would cut down on years to mature with the money instead

24 Oct, 2012


I agree that Dixie needs to be calm about this, but it also need to be clear to the new neighbours that they can't do just as they like and run rough shod over people.
Advise from the CAB is no nasty bills.
I'd ask the 'Handiman' what else he's been asked to you're kind of 'for warned' Meanwhile, start looking at what you can grow up the new fencing, on your side to mask it.
I feel sorry for looks like you've got some new inconsiderate neighbours :( When I asked my OH what he thought he said he'd tear it down..but that's not the answer.
I do hope you sort things the agreement of you both..disputes with neighbours are never pleasant.

25 Oct, 2012


It may also just be the fencing guy who is inconsiderate and taking liberties with your trees. The neighbours who are not there may be as appalled as you at his behaviour

25 Oct, 2012


I agree it is a concern that your new neighbours are so worried about privacy that they have such a high fence put up before they move in! It may be a sign they want to keep themselves very private. They must have paid out a lot of money for this fencing. Personally I would be glad. Especially if the fence line faces south to south west. Let them get on with it. No one has any obligation to fence anything. The old tree is gone and you have a refurb opportunity on your side of this fence. New neighbours are enough of a concern without being too stressed over this matter.

25 Oct, 2012


Thank you everyone for responding to my situation and your wise and kind remarks. I don't feel so alone, isolated and helpless now for all your support and I have taken everyone's views on board and slept on it. I went for a long walk this morning into my village and back (to have my flu jab) and just opened my eyes to the autumnal beauty around me and thought, 'you know what, this isn't worth losing sleep or worrying over.' I cannot put back what was taken down and I cannot take down what was put up, but what I DO have there now is a 'blank canvas' and yes, I can plant more things against it to disguise it better even though its going to be solid shade there now in the afternoons (being on the southern facing boundary of my garden) - it does get the eastern sunrise first thing, and thus I will put back some things Nature intended be there like hedgerow trees blackthorn, hawthorn and wild dog roses to blend with the honeysuckle I have nearer the house. I shall paint a picture with shade-tolerant shrubs and hope in a short time they will cover the sanitised brutality of it and soften and blur its hard edges. And maybe even replant a new young greengage tree where the old one used to be....and the other positive thought to have come from this adversity is...I have found a new community here and as a complete novice gardener will be popping in and out to see what tips I can pick up from you all! :^) Once again, thank you all Love Michelle xx

25 Oct, 2012


Why not take a photo of it now and then again when the new stuff has matured?

I love a blank canvas to work on

Here was my blank canvas fence

and from the same view point 6 years later

25 Oct, 2012


Michelle, if it's of any interest, I planted a rose 'Open Arms' with some trepidation in the position you describe, and is has made loads of growth and bloomed incessantly all summer. I didn't expect much from it as it is a shady site but it has been fantastic for 2 summers now.
However, I do like the idea of the native trees you have in mind as the wildlife needs as much help as it can get! I have just planted a hawthorn, field maple and two rowans on the verge outside the fence and hope nobody objects as they will improve a rather drab and featureless side road besides helping the birds etc.
Anchorman's pictures should inspire you!

26 Oct, 2012


If you plant blackthorn be aware that it does sucker enthusiastically and may pop up all over the place - including the other side of the new fence!

27 Oct, 2012


Maybe they are nudists who want to sunbathe ?

30 Oct, 2012


Ooh? now wouldn't THAT be lovely, Steragram, and in a way, 'sweet revenge'! Thanks for that tip.

Lol at Dianebulley, well, why didn't they just say? I could've joined them!lol. Or maybe they are going to put in a swimming pool, or perhaps become cannibis Michelle x ;^)

4 Nov, 2012


I would still advise caution! Is Tit for Tat worth it? You may have to live next door to them for some years why go looking for trouble? Good neighbours are an asset, I value mine.

4 Nov, 2012


I don't think I can add much to that except to say I can quite understand your original anger I would be furious if they had been on my land doing work and taking trees down without my permission , perhaps you should look at it another way Michelle it might have been work you needed doing but couldn't afford and now it's been done for free . It's true you do have to live next door to these people for a long time , I would play it by ear wait and see what kind of people you are dealing with .. you could post a bill for the missing plants that you have had to replace .... ☺

4 Nov, 2012

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