Our rich and diverse natural environment is protected by
- An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest
- Local Nature Reserves
- A Special Area of Conservation
- Over 450 Tree Preservation Orders
The Heritage Team provides advice on and deals with all landscape issues relating to planning applications. This includes:
- 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.
- Liaison with planning officers and applicants or their agents on submitted planning applications - where existing landscape features on site need to be considered or where there is a need for new planting to be provided as part of the scheme.
- Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessments 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.
- 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 English Woodland Grant Scheme- this is the Forestry Commission's suite of grants relating to both proposed and existing woodlands
- Felling Licences - 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.
- Landscape Designations - special designations within Wychavon include the Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) to the south of the District, the Droitwich Special Landscape Area and the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering the areas around Broadway and Bredon Hill. These will be considered for development control purposes under Policies ENV1 and ENV2 of the Wychavon District Local Plan June 2006.
- Landscape Character - Worcestershire County Council have produced a Landscape Character Assessment for Worcestershire.
- 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
- The England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) - these DEFRA schemes include grant aid for proposals to conserve and improve the rural environment.
- Environmental Stewardship - an agri-environmental scheme which provides funding to farmers and other land managers who deliver effective environmental management on their land.
- The Landscape Institute – their Register of Landscape Practices 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.
- Worcestershire Wildlife Trust for local conservation and wildlife issues
- Information on Worcestershire County Council's website relating to Landscape Character Assessment.
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 – if you want to remove a hedgerow you should write in stating the reasons for removal with a plan showing the hedgerow in question. You should note that the regulations do not apply to hedgerows that are within or on a garden boundary.
Hedgerow Removal Notice Application
Please use the details below to contact us regarding Landscape, High Hedges and Hedgerows:
Housing & Planning Support Officers
Telephone: 01386 565565 between 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday.