ATP Template with bundler

Boundary issues


Yes, although it is best to negotiate with your neighbour prior to taking any action. You can cut any branches or roots that cross over the boundary. However, the branches/roots still technically belong to your neighbour so you should speak to them to see if they want them prior to disposing of them.

If you want to cut any parts off a tree then you should check prior to doing this that the tree is not subject to a tree preservation order. You need to get consent from the local authority before pruning such a tree.

See the find your local council website in Related Information to find your local authority.

Boundary issues can be a very emotive issue and, in all cases, discussion with your neighbour is always advised.


The police do not have any powers to deal with this type of problem. This is a civil issue and you need to seek the advice of a solicitor to resolve any boundary issues you may have.
It will be worthwhile contacting your bank or building society (or whoever holds your deeds) to check the boundaries.
See the website in Related Information for more details.


The police cannot assist in boundary issues as they are a civil matter.

Do not damage or destroy the fence as you may commit criminal damage and be liable to prosecution.

The best course of action is to discuss the matter with your neighbour, to try to resolve the matter in an informal and friendly way. Try to establish if there has been a misunderstanding with the boundary. Obtain a copy of your deeds which will clearly show the boundary line and compare this with your neighbours. You should make every effort to remain on good terms with your neighbours.

If it is still not resolved then you should think about seeking advice from a solicitor or Citizens' Advice Bureau. However, be aware that getting solicitors involved could prove to be costly. The planning department of the local authority may have more information available.

See the websites in Related Information for more details and to find your local authority.


In the majority of cases you do not need planning permission for a greenhouse, however if you have any doubts regarding planning permission contact your local authority planning department for advice. Please be aware that if you build something that requires planning permission, and you have not obtained it, you may be required to take it down.

The following are common examples of when you will need to apply for planning permission:

· You want to make additions or extensions to a flat or maisonette (including those converted from houses). You do not need planning permission to carry out internal alterations or work which does not affect the external appearance of the building.

· You want to divide off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit), or use a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else. (You do not need planning permission to let one or two of your rooms to lodgers).

· You want to build a separate house in your garden.

· You want to divide off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop), or you want to build a parking place for a commercial vehicle.

· You want to build something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house - for example, a planning condition may have been enforced to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an "open plan" estate. Your council has a record of all planning permissions in its area.

· The work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users.

· The work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

The above has been reproduced from the website of the Department of Communities and Local Government and further details can be found on the website, see related information. The material is subject to Crown copyright.

See the website in Related Information to find your local authority.


Using barbed/razor wire and broken glass in order to stop people getting into your home is not advisable. You are making yourself liable to civil action, if by doing this someone is injured, as you owe a duty of care to ensure that visitors to your property are reasonably safe. Odd as it may seem, you also owe a duty of care to trespassers.

The use of such a preventative measure could also be seen as being detrimental to the neighbourhood.

Using other methods of crime prevention such as trellis fencing and defensible planting is often more effective and pleasant to look at.

Trellis fencing is effective because it increases the height of the boundary and it is not usually strong enough to hold an intruder's weight Therefore, they may not want to risk climbing over it, breaking it and making a loud noise.

Prickly plants such as Hawthorne, Poncira, Pyracantha (rapid growth), Rosa Rugosa, or any kind of Berberis are an effective obstacle against possible intruders and much more pleasant to look at.

Whatever method you use, it is important to ensure that you have planning permission, if required, and you do not leave yourself open to civil proceedings. Please see websites in Related Information for more detail or contact your local crime prevention/reduction officer.

Contact your local police force

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