During the growing season we receive many reports about trees, hedges and shrubs which are overhanging public roads and footways. Such growth can present unnecessary risk to pedestrians and sometimes to road users.
Whilst we welcome all such reports using our online form we have to prioritise our resources. As a general rule of thumb, unless the vegetation obstructs the footpath across the entire width by at least 10 per cent, the report will be given a low priority and may not get addressed for some months - depending on the time of the year.
During the summer, unless photographs accompany the report and clearly show the extent of the obstruction and location, such reports are also likely to be given low priority and again may not be actioned for some time.
What the council can do
From a legal perspective the landowner is likely to be liable for any obstruction. The council can require the owner to cut back their overgrowing vegetation. Should they fail to do this we have powers to cut it back and recover our costs.
Where possible we encourage residents to resolve local problems for themselves. If our contractors are tasked to cut back to the edge of the highway, they will do just this. The result, potentially, could be the loss of the shrub, or a visually less acceptable finish than might otherwise have been the case.