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High Hedges Bill [HL]


High Hedges Bill [HL]

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     (6)    Where the person making an appeal under section 7 against a remedial notice

withdraws his appeal, the operative date of the notice shall be the date on

which the appeal is withdrawn.

     (7)    In any case falling within subsection (5) or (6), the compliance period for the

notice shall accordingly run from the date which is its operative date by virtue

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of that subsection (and any period which may have started to run from a date

preceding that on which the appeal was made shall accordingly be

disregarded).

Powers of entry

 10    Powers of entry for the purposes of complaints and appeals

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     (1)    Where, under this Act, a complaint has been made or a remedial notice has

been issued, a person authorised by the relevant authority may enter the

neighbouring land in order to obtain information required by the relevant

authority for the purpose of determining—

           (a)           whether this Act applies to the complaint;

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           (b)           whether to issue or withdraw a remedial notice;

           (c)           whether to vary a requirement of a remedial notice;

           (d)           whether a requirement of a remedial notice has been complied with.

     (2)    Where an appeal has been made under section 7, a person authorised—

           (a)           by the Secretary of State, or

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           (b)           by a person appointed to determine appeals on his behalf,

            may enter the neighbouring land in order to obtain information required by the

Secretary of State, or by the person so appointed, for the purpose of

determining an appeal under this Act.

     (3)    A person shall not enter land in the exercise of a power conferred by this

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section unless at least 24 hours’ notice of the intended entry has been given to

every occupier of the land.

     (4)    A person authorised under this section to enter land—

           (a)           shall, if so required, produce evidence of his authority before entering;

and

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           (b)           shall produce such evidence if required to do so at any time while he

remains on the land.

     (5)    A person who enters land in the exercise of a power conferred by this section

may—

           (a)           take with him such other persons as may be necessary;

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           (b)           take with him equipment and materials needed in order to obtain the

information required;

           (c)           take samples of any trees or shrubs that appear to him to form part of a

high hedge.

     (6)    If, in the exercise of a power conferred by this section, a person enters land

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which is unoccupied or from which all of the persons occupying the land are

temporarily absent, he must on his departure leave it as effectively secured

against unauthorised entry as he found it.

 

 

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     (7)    A person who intentionally obstructs a person acting in the exercise of the

powers under this section is guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on

summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Enforcement of remedial notices

 11    Offences

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     (1)    Where, at any time after the end of the compliance period, any action required

by a remedial notice to be taken has not been taken, any person who is then the

owner or occupier of the neighbouring land shall be guilty of an offence and

liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard

scale.

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     (2)    In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it shall be

a defence for him to show that he did everything he could be expected to do to

secure compliance with the notice.

     (3)    Where a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) was not sent a

copy of the remedial notice under any provision of this Act and either—

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           (a)           at the time of the offence he was the owner of the neighbouring land

and the notice was not registered as a local land charge in pursuance of

section 5(8), or

           (b)           he was not then the owner of that land,

            it shall be a defence for him to show that he was not aware of the existence of

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the notice.

            In a case where paragraph (b) applies and the notice is so registered, the effect

of section 198 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (c. 20) (constructive notice) shall

be disregarded for the purposes of this subsection.

     (4)    Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) and it appears

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to the court that—

           (a)           the failure to comply with the remedial notice is continuing, and

           (b)           it is in that person’s power to comply with it,

            the court may, in addition to or instead of imposing any punishment, order

him to take, within such reasonable period as may be fixed by the order, such

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steps as may be specified in the order for complying with the notice.

     (5)    Where a person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with an order under

subsection (4)—

           (a)           he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a

fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale; and

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           (b)           if the offence is continued after conviction, he shall be guilty of a further

offence and so liable to a fine not exceeding one-twentieth of that level

for each day on which the offence is so continued.

 12    Remedial action by relevant authority etc

     (1)    Where, at any time after the end of the compliance period, any action required

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by a remedial notice to be taken has not been taken—

           (a)                         a person authorised by the relevant authority may enter the

neighbouring land and take the required action; and

 

 

High Hedges Bill [HL]

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           (b)                         the relevant authority may recover any expenses reasonably incurred

by that person in doing so from any person who is the owner or an

occupier of the land.

     (2)    Any such expenses shall be, until recovered, a local land charge and binding

on successive owners or occupiers of the land.

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     (3)    Where any such expenses are recoverable form two or more persons, they shall

be jointly and severally liable for those expenses.

     (4)           A person shall not enter land in the exercise of a power conferred by this

section unless at least 7 days’ notice of the intended entry has been given to

every occupier of the land.

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     (5)    A person authorised under this section to enter land—

           (a)           shall, if so required, produce evidence of his authority before entering;

and

           (b)           shall produce such evidence if required to do so at any time while he

remains on the land.

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     (6)           A person who enters land in the exercise of a power conferred by this section

may—

           (a)           use a vehicle to enter the land;

           (b)           take with him such other persons as may be necessary;

           (c)           take with him equipment and materials needed for the purpose of

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taking the required action.

     (7)           If, in the exercise of a power conferred by this section, a person enters land

which is unoccupied or from which all of the persons occupying the land are

temporarily absent, he must on his departure leave it as effectively secured

against unauthorised entry as he found it.

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     (8)    Section 289 of the Public Health Act 1936 (c. 49) (power of court to require

occupier to permit work to be done by owner) shall apply with any necessary

modifications for the purpose of giving the owner of land to which a remedial

notice relates the right, as against all other persons interested in the land, to

comply with the notice.

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     (9)    Any person who wilfully obstructs a person acting in the exercise of powers

under this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

 13    Offences committed by bodies corporate

     (1)    Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to

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have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable

to any neglect on the part of—

           (a)           any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body

corporate, or

           (b)           any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,

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            he, as well as the body corporate, shall be guilty of that offence and be liable to

be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

     (2)    Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection

(1) shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection

with his functions of management as if he were a director of the body

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corporate.

 

 

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Supplementary provisions

 14    Orders and regulations

     (1)    Any power of the Secretary of State to make an order or regulations under this

Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.

     (2)    A statutory instrument containing any regulations made by the Secretary of

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State under this Act (other than any regulations under section 17) shall be

subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of

Parliament.

     (3)    No regulations under section 17 shall be made by the Secretary of State

(whether alone or with other provisions) unless a draft of the statutory

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instrument containing the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a

resolution of, each House of Parliament.

     (4)    Any order or regulations under this Act may—

           (a)           contain such consequential, incidental, supplementary or transitional

provisions or savings (including provisions applying, with or without

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modifications, provisions made by or under other enactments) as the

Secretary of State considers appropriate; and

           (b)           make different provisions for different cases.

 15    Other documents

     (1)    Any complaint, notice or notification authorised or required to be made, issued

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or given by virtue of this Act must be in writing.

     (2)    Any notification or other document required to be given or sent to any person

by virtue of this Act shall be taken to be duly given or sent to him if served in

accordance with the following provisions of this section.

     (3)    Such a document may be served by delivering it to the person in question or

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by leaving it at his proper address, or by sending it by post to him at that

address.

     (4)    Such a document may—

           (a)           in the case of a body corporate, be served on the secretary or clerk of

that body;

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           (b)           in the case of a partnership, be served on a partner or a person having

the control or management of the partnership business.

     (5)    For the purposes of this section and of section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978

(c. 30) (service of documents by post) in its application to this section, a

person’s proper address shall be his last known address, except that—

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           (a)           in the case of a body corporate or their secretary or clerk, it shall be the

address of the registered or principal office of that body;

           (b)           in the case of a partnership or person having the control or the

management of the partnership business, it shall be the principal office

of the partnership;

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            and for the purposes of this subsection the principal office of a company

registered outside the United Kingdom or of a partnership carrying on

business outside the United Kingdom shall be their principal office within the

United Kingdom.

 

 

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     (6)    If a person has specified an address in the United Kingdom other than his

proper address within the meaning of subsection (5) above as the one at which

he or someone on his behalf will accept documents of a particular description,

that address shall also be treated for the purpose of this section and section 7

of the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30) as his proper address in connection with

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the service on him of a document of that description.

     (7)    Where—

           (a)           by virtue of this Act any document is required to be given or sent to the

owner or occupier of any land, and

           (b)           the name or address of any such person cannot after reasonable inquiry

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be ascertained,

            the document may be served either by leaving it in the hands of a person who

is or appears to be resident or employed on the land or by leaving it

conspicuously affixed to some building or object on the land.

 16    Interpretation

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In this Act—

                      “complaint” shall be construed in accordance with section 1(1) and (4);

                      “the complainant” has the meaning given by section 1(3);

                      “the compliance period” has the meaning given by section 5(6);

                      “domestic property” has the meaning given by section 3(1);

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                      “high hedge” has the meaning given by section 2(1);

                      “local authority”, in relation to England, means—

                  (a)                 a district council,

                  (b)                 a county council for a county in which there are no districts,

                  (c)                 a London borough council, or

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                  (d)                 the Common Council for the City of London;

                            and, in relation to Wales, means a county council or a county borough

council;

                      “the neighbouring land” has the meaning given by section 1(3);

                      “occupier”, in relation to any land, means the person entitled to

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possession of the land by virtue of an estate or interest in it,

                      “the operative date” shall be construed in accordance with sections 5(5)

and 9(5) and (6);

                      “owner”, in relation to any land, means a person (other than a mortgagee

not in possession) who, whether in his own right or as trustee for any

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person—

                  (a)                 is entitled to receive the rack rent of the land, or

                  (b)                 where the land is not let at a rack rent, would be so entitled if it

were so let;

                      “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of

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State;

                      “the relevant authority” has the meaning given by section 1(3);

                      “remedial notice” shall be construed in accordance with section 5(1).

 17    Power to amend sections 1 and 2

     (1)    The Secretary of State may by regulations do one or both of the following—

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           (a)                         amend section 1 for the purpose of extending the scope of complaints

relating to high hedges to which this Act applies; and

           (b)           amend the definition of “high hedge” in section 2(1) and any provision

of section 2(2).

     (2)    Any regulations under subsection (1) may make such consequential

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amendments of this Act as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

 18    Financial provisions

There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

           (a)           any expenses incurred by the Secretary of State in consequence of this

Act; and

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           (b)           any increase attributable to this Act in sums payable out of money so

provided by virtue of any other Act.

 19    Crown application

     (1)    Any provision made by or under this Act binds the Crown.

     (2)    The Crown is not, however, criminally liable as a result of any such provision.

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     (3)    Subsection (2) does not affect the application of any such provision to persons

in the service of the Crown.

 20    Wales

     (1)    This Act applies to Wales with the substitution of a reference to the National

Assembly for Wales for each reference to the Secretary of State.

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     (2)    Subsection (1) does not have effect in relation to section 14(2) or (3).

 21    Short title, commencement and extent

     (1)    This Act may be cited as the High Hedges Act 2003.

     (2)    This Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may appoint

by order; and different days may be so appointed for different purposes.

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     (3)    This Act extends to England and Wales only.

 

 

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