The Heritage Team provides advice on and deals with all landscape matters relating to planning applications and policy. This includes:
- Advice to the Council’s Planning Policy team in relation to landscape policy and landscape aspects of strategic development
- Advice to developers and the general public before a planning application is submitted – outlining landscape details that may be required to be submitted as part of a planning application. These details might include a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) or less detailed Landscape and Visual Appraisal (LVA), depending on the type of development proposed, and planting proposals.
- Liaison with planning officers and applicants or their agents on submitted planning applications - where existing landscape features on site and visual impact need to be considered, and where there is a need for new planting to be provided as part of the scheme.
- Evaluation of landscape issues in relation to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) that have been submitted to the Council for consideration as part of a planning application - where an EIA is required to be submitted, depending on the type of development proposed.
- Evaluation of Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments or Landscape and Visual Appraisals submitted in support of a planning application.
- Advice to applicants or their agents after planning consent has been granted and a landscape condition has been imposed – on what landscape details need to be submitted in order to comply with the condition.
- Evaluation of landscape schemes submitted to the Council to comply with landscape conditions that have been imposed on a planning consent – in order to approve the submitted scheme or negotiate any amendments that may be required before the scheme can be approved.
- Advice to Parish Councils and the general public on whether the landscape requirements of any completed development have been complied with.
General Landscape Issues
Further advice on the following landscape related issues is available from the websites specified
- The Landscape Institute – is the chartered body for the landscape profession. Their Member Directory gives details of landscape architects who can be engaged to prepare landscape schemes to submit either as part of a planning application or to comply with a landscape condition.
- Landscape Character Assessment - Worcestershire County Council have produced a Landscape Character Assessment for Worcestershire. Policy SWDP 25 of the adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) 2016 requires development proposals to take this assessment and its Landscape Guidelines into account.
- Natural England is the Government's Statutory adviser on landscape issues and has responsibility for the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering areas around Broadway and Bredon Hill
- Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering the areas around Broadway and Bredon Hill within Wychavon District. Development proposals within the AONB will be considered under Policy SWDP 23 of the adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) 2016
- Woodland creation – information on woodland creation, including funding and best practice for sustainability.
- Woodland Management Plan – guidance on planning and organising the sustainable management of woodland
- Tree Felling Licence - everyone involved in the felling of trees, the owner, agent or contractor must ensure that a licence has been issued from the Forestry Commission before any felling is carried out, unless one of the exemptions applies. If the trees are Protected Trees, an application to fell must also be submitted to the local authority.
- Woodland Trust - this is the Forestry Commission's suite of grants relating to both proposed and existing woodlands
- Orchards – information on planting and managing traditional orchards in Worcestershire. The Vale Landscape Heritage Trust work with volunteers, funders, farmers and Government to protect and conserve orchards in and around the Vale of Evesham and Pershore.
- Countryside Stewardship - a scheme which provides funding to farmers and other land managers to make environmental improvements.
- Worcestershire Wildlife Trust - for local nature conservation and biodiversity issues. Further information on biodiversity may be found on the our Biodiversity (Protected Species)page.
A ‘high hedge' is a line of two or more evergreen trees or shrubs which rise to a height of over two metres above ground level.
It is not illegal to have a high hedge, as long as it's not causing a problem for your neighbour and you are able to arrive at a solution to problems affecting the "reasonable enjoyment" of a neighbour's property.
Our Enforcement Team only look into complaints as a last resort where you cannot agree a solution yourselves.
What action may be taken?
We can take formal action, where we require the owner of the hedge to reduce its height to a maximum of 2 metres - we cannot require the hedge to be completely removed.
You would need to make an application, you can do this by completing the High Hedges complaint form
A fee of £336.60 is required for this service, under Section 68(1)(b) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.
You may be able to recover the costs from the hedge owner through the Small Claims Court. In these circumstances, we will allow the complaint file to be used as evidence.
Charitable organisations, for example, Help the Aged, may be able to offer assistance to eligible persons in making a complaint.
We may decline to investigate a high hedge complaint, if we consider that the complainant has not taken all reasonable steps to resolve the matter or if we consider the complaint to be vexatious.
These booklets may give you some useful information and advice.
- High Hedges: appealing against the Council's decision
- High Hedge height and loss (Booklet)
- High Hedge complaints: prevention and cure (Booklet)
- High Hedges - Complaint Form and Guidance Notes
The Heritage Team provides advice on and deals with all notifications to remove hedgerows.
The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 allows us to protect important hedgerows, by controlling their removal through a system of notification via a Hedgerow Removal Notice. You should note that the regulations do not apply to hedgerows that are within or on a garden boundary.
Hedgerow Removal Notice Application
If you want to remove a hedgerow you should complete an Application for Hedgerow Removal Notice form, or write in stating the reasons for removal with a plan showing the hedgerow in question.
Planning and Infrastructure Support Officers
Telephone: 01386 565565 between 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday.