Overhanging trees, hedges and other vegetation can be a real nuisance. When trees, hedges or other plants grow and start to overhang a footpath or road from private property, there can be safety and/or accessibility issues for people. We need to make sure our footpaths and roads are safe and can be easily used by everyone, including the kids on scooters, the sight-impaired those with disabilities and of course the postie.
What are the rules?
Trees and vegetation on private property must be kept clear of footpaths and roads in accordance with the following guidelines and diagram.
- If the footpath is directly adjacent to a private property boundary, all vegetation should be trimmed back to the boundary (including hedges) so the entire footpath width is clear of vegetation - see diagram. In all other locations, the entire footpath width should be clear of vegetation.
- A clear space of 2.5 metres above the footpath, berm or walkway is required.
- A clear space of 4.5 metres above the road to allow truck or bus clearance is required.
- Where there is only a grass berm, clearance of overhanging vegetation is required to allow safe access for users.
Managing vegetation overhanging the footpath or road
Each March the Council reminds property owners through the media to make sure their trees, hedges and other vegetation are trimmed clear of footpaths and roads. In May the Council’s contractors undertake inspections of footpaths and roads and where overhanging vegetation is identified:
- The Contractor places a note in the letterbox of the property concerned identifying what needs to be done.
- An official notice is sent to the property owner in case they do not live at the property.
- A limited amount of time is provided to have the vegetation trimmed.
- A re-inspection will occur to determine if the work has been completed.
- Where work hasn’t been completed, the Contractor undertakes the work and the property owner is charged for the work, along with an administration charge.
Where overhanging vegetation affects your use of the footpath or roads
If you notice trees or vegetation are affecting your safe use of footpaths or roads please contact the Council on (03) 520 7400 or by email.
Council will have the concerns assessed and undertake action as necessary.
What if vegetation is overhanging my property?
A dispute between residents over trees on private property is a civil matter and needs to be resolved between the parties concerned. The Council will not get involved in this type of matter. You could contact Marlborough Citizens Advice on 03 578 4272 for assistance or seek legal advice.