A GARDENING expert says a little-known privacy fence rule could get you slapped with a huge fine.
Hayes Garden World’s Angela Slater said many people might not be aware that they are breaking the rule.
She said: “The standard hedge and fence height that gives you enough privacy is usually a maximum of two metres.
“Anything above two metres may be a nuisance for your neighbours and potentially block sunlight into their garden, or even cause safety concerns.
“Before erecting a fence or hedge, both parties will need to agree to it, so ensure you notify your neighbours of your wish for a new fence so there is no disturbance.
“If you’re looking to erect a fence over two metres tall, or one metre tall if it is adjacent to a highway used by vehicles, you will need to seek planning permission.”
It comes after Angela revealed that you could also get in trouble for burying a beloved pet in your garden without checking the rules.
She said: “It is completely understandable that you would want to bury your pet in your garden – it’s private, personal and can be much cheaper.
“But what many don’t know is that you are not permitted to bury a pet if you live in a rented property, as they are technically not your grounds.
“Similarly, avoid burying your pet in a public space as this is illegal.
“It is advised that the burial shouldn’t be in contact with any water sources and be buried at least three feet deep in light soil to safeguard against scavengers.
“An improperly dug pet burial can land you a fine of up to £5,000.”
In summer you might want to get out your hosepipe – but this could also get you in hot water.
Angela said: “Warmer weather naturally encourages a higher demand for water, which can lead to water usage restrictions in certain areas of the UK.”
“During summer, areas with limited water supply may be imposed with water usage restrictions – commonly known as a hosepipe ban.
“In a bid to save water and avoid drought, water companies restrict unnecessary usage such as watering your garden, lawn, car or even having a water fight.
“If caught using your hosepipe, you can potentially be fined up to £1,000 or even prosecuted in court.”
You could also be slapped with a £5,000 fine if you fall foul of Angela’s fourth rule.
She said: “If you find you have invasive plants and noxious weeds, such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, in your garden, you will need to take action, or you will face a fine of up to £5,000.
“These plants can cause massive ecological damage by causing extinction to other animals and plants.
“Japanese knotweed specifically can create serious damage to drain pipework, but removing it can be the main difficulty.
“If you find yourself with these plants in your garden, it is best to contact a professional urgently.
“It is your responsibility to get them removed from your garden to avoid extensive damage.”
Finally, you must respect your neighbours’ right to privacy – as well as their right to sunlight.
Angela said: “Privacy is hugely important and deserved by everyone, which is why making sure you are not impeaching on your neighbour’s space is the first rule of thumb.
“Whether your trees, plants or shrubs have overgrown into your neighbour’s garden or you have a new garden camera installed, make sure to be respectful and keep everything contained in your own garden.
“High hedges and overgrown trees and shrubs may be a beautiful addition to your garden, but they can risk restricting light into your neighbour’s garden.
“If you notice that this is a nuisance for your neighbour, the first port of call is to have a conversation with them to try and find a resolution.
“If this fails, they may apply for a High Hedge Notice. This means that if the hedge meets the criteria, the council has the power to reduce the height of the hedge or even remove it completely.
“If you refuse to allow entry to the land for removal, you could be fined up to £1,000.”
It comes after a top lawyer warned that your neighbour could land you with a £50,000 fine under a little-known rule.
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