Before making an application
Making an application to your council for a high hedge notice is intended as a last resort. The Act requires that applicants must take "all reasonable steps" to resolve matters relating to the high hedge themselves before making an application. The council is likely to ask you to provide supporting evidence to show you have done this.
The Act does not specify what constitutes "reasonable steps", since this is likely to vary between different local authority areas. It is likely that a potential applicant would be expected to make a set number of written approaches to their neighbour over a period of weeks or months prior to making an application. It is possible some councils will also offer a free mediation service and you may be required to attend. Potential applicants should contact their own local authority before making a formal application in order to find out what their pre-application requirements are.
Dismissal of applications
If an applicant goes directly to the council without making any attempt to resolve the matter with their neighbour first, their application will automatically be dismissed. Applications will also be dismissed if the application is considered to be either frivolous or vexatious, or if the application is invalid - i.e. the subject of the application is not a hedge.
There is no right of appeal to Scottish Ministers in cases where an application has been dismissed. It is not possible to appeal cases where the application has been dismissed on the grounds that the subject of the application is not a hedge since the provisions of the Act cannot apply. It is recommended you contact your council before making your application if you have any doubts about its validity.
It is also not possible to appeal applications dismissed on the grounds of being either frivolous or vexatious, or because the local authority does not consider an applicant has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the matter themselves.