High Hedges Bill [HL]|
30. This is a private member's bill introduced
by Baroness Gardner of Parkes. It provides for local authorities,
on complaint by the owner or occupier of domestic property, to
take action (by means of remedial notices) to deal with unreasonable
obstruction of light caused by a neighbour's high hedge.
31. This bill contains delegated powers in clauses
4(8), 5(6), 8(1), 16(1) and 20(2).
32. The first three of these enable the Secretary
of State to set a maximum fee to accompany a complaint, and to
set out the procedure on applications for the variation or withdrawal
of a remedial notice and on appeals against remedial notices or
decisions of the local authority. We note that amongst the matters
for which regulations may provide is that of the grounds for appealing
(clause 8(2)(a)). So to that extent regulations are capable of
limiting the right of appeal conferred by clause 7(1). We invite
the House to consider whether the grounds (or at least the minimum
grounds) should be set out in the bill.
33. Regulations made by the Secretary of State
under clauses 4(8), 5(6) and 8(1) are subject to negative resolution
procedure. We consider that this is appropriate.
34. Clause 16(1) contains a Henry VIII power.
But the power is limited to :
(a) extending complaints
to non-domestic property and other matters beyond unreasonable
obstruction of light (e.g. physical damage to property);
(b) altering the definition of "high hedge";
(c) consequential amendments (e.g. adding to
the references in the Bill to "unreasonable obstruction of
Regulations made by the Secretary of State under
clause 16 are subject to the affirmative procedure. We regard
this as appropriate.
35. Clause 20(2) confers power to make commencement
36. With the exception of our observations on
grounds of appeal (paragraph 34) there is nothing in this bill
to which we wish to draw the attention of the House.