§ The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker)
My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
We have today launched a public consultation on implementing Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 in England. This gives local authorities the powers to deal with complaints about high hedges which are having an adverse effect on a neighbour's amenity.54WS
We are seeking views on draft regulations covering certain procedural details such as the fees that authorities should charge for this service and how appeals against their decisions should be dealt with. We are also seeking views on the draft guidance on how local authorities should administer the complaints system. This offers advice on how authorities should assess whether a hedge is having an adverse affect on a neighbour's amenity. Copies of the consultation paper and the draft guidance have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The consultation papers have been sent to local authorities in England, specialist and other interested organisations. They have also been published on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website (www.odpm.gov.uk). The closing date for responses is 30 June 2004.
This is another step towards tackling the misery which can be caused by high hedges and we are on course to have the system fully operational towards the end of this year.