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NSW Australian Law - Can I Force Neighbour to Prude Hedges?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Leylandii, 17 March 2016.

  1. Leylandii

    Leylandii Member

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    Dear Forum members,

    The question is, under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 No 126, can I force my neighbour to remove or prune her hedge? We have well and truely exhausted all avenues of mediation.

    Many years ago my (then friendly) neighbour planted 23 trees, forming a Leylandii hedge along our common boundary. At the time of planting, I let it be known there was going to be a house built on our block and that their hedge had the potential to grow 35 metres high and would cast a shadow over our house. Our neighbour said he was going to keep the hedge at three metres high, which would have been OK.

    The hedge is now 13 to 15 metres high, with a shadow covering most of our building block and we are about to start building. Once built, the rear of the house will be facing North and a shadow will be cast over the back windows and living area.

    I realise the hedge was there first, which begs the question ‘why build a house in shade?’ But do we have a case under Australian Law? Bearing in mind our neighbour allowed the hedge to continue growing, knowing it would deprive us of sunlight.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Have you made any kind of application under Part 2 of that act?
     
  3. Leylandii

    Leylandii Member

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    No Tim, not yet. My understanding is that the house has to be built first as there is no shadow over windows or living space at the moment.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Of course, I meant Part 2A (sorry about the typo).

    I imagine that this cannot be the first time this question has arisen.
    Subject to further comment by the lawyers here,
    many of whom will have a more detailed knowledge of this field than I,
    I suggest seeking formal legal advice from a solicitor well-versed in the law of construction and development.
     

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