Long Branch of the Law! Vegetation Bill 2017
You spend so much time ensuring that you house is exactly how you want it, the garden is perfect, your walls/fences are clear and exactly how you want them and there is the perfect amount of sunlight beaming into your house making it the perfect little sun trap for a conservatory or the likes, over time you notice that each summer you are getting less and less sunlight into your house and your drive way is being over taken by a rogue bush or tree from a neighbouring garden. This can definitely be a cause of frustration and ruin the vision you had for your gardens/house.
At the time is can be difficult to have the awkward conversation with a neighbour asking them to trim back their trees so that you can get back to being content with your property, especially if your neighbours are your friends. Asking them to take care of their garden can be an awkward conversation and even more awkward when you consider the added time and costs that it would take them to take care of an over grown tress/bush. In situations where you neighbours may not be your best friends, it can be even more awkward as they may not be as forthcoming with offering a solution to this vegetation problem.
The long arm of the law can now be considered the long branch of the law with a recently published bill that aims to assist resolving disputes between neighbours of a gardening nature!
Neighbour Disputes (Vegetation) Bill 2017
Entitled the Neighbour Disputes (Vegetation) Bill 2017, a short summary of the bill sets out that the proposed new legislation is an Act ‘to address neighbour disputes concerning vegetation that causes a nuisance including the obstruction of sunlight;
– to provide for mediation of neighbour disputes and formal adjudication if necessary by adjudication officers appointed by local authorities;
– to provide for the appeal and enforcement of decisions made by adjudication officers;
– and to provide for related matters.’
This may come as a welcomes addition to legislation for those whose neighbour’s gardens are left untended and create a nuisance for other properties around them. One of the interesting clauses in the bill proposes that all documents in the initial mediation stage remain confidential in any subsequent court proceedings.
The bill also allows ‘works orders’ to be made requiring works to be carried out by parties to a dispute. For those unhappy with the process, a right of appeal exists to the District Court
It will be interesting to watch how if this bill progresses and ‘grows’ into a full law!