Planning considerations hedges


You do not need permission to remove a hedgerow within your own garden, unless you live in an Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Area.

Under the Hedgerow Regulations (1997) you need permission to work on a hedgerow if it is growing in, or adjacent to:

  • any common land

  • protected land (a nature reserve or similar)

  • land used for agriculture or forestry

  • the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys

and is over 20 metres or more long, or meets or intersects with another hedgerow.

Unless you are:

  • making a new opening in substitution for an existing opening onto land
  • obtaining temporary access in an emergency

  • obtaining access where another means of access is not available or is available at disproportionate cost

  • carrying out development for which planning permission has been granted

  • carrying out flood defence or land drainage

  • ensuring the eradication of any plant or tree pest

  • carrying out highway works by the Secretary Of State

  • felling, lopping or cutting back as required under the Electricity Act 1989

  • carrying out the proper management of a hedgerow


Apply for permission to remove a hedgerow

Complete an application to remove a hedgerow

We will then consider whether it is an Importat Hedgerow (if over 30 years old).

We should make a decision within 42 days (unless agreed otherwise).

If permission is granted work should be carried out within two years and must accord with the notice.


If permission is not granted:

  • We may issue a Hedgerow Retention Notice to stop all or part of the hedgerow being removed.
  • It is an offence to remove an Important Hedgerow in contravention of the Regulations an you may be fined up to £5,000 and have to reinstate it.
  • You have a right to appeal against a Hedgerow Retention Notice or a notice requiring replacement.