The Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (NSW) (the Trees Act) enables a neighbour to obtain court orders to force the hedge owner to prune or remove a high hedge.
The Act defines a hedge of trees as a group of 2 or more trees that are planted so as to form a hedge and rise to a height of at least 2.5 metres (above existing ground level).
The Court may make an order requiring the hedge owner to trim or remove the hedge if satisfied that the trees are severely obstructing sunlight to a window of a dwelling situated on the applicant’s land, or are severely obstructing a view from a dwelling situated on the applicant’s land. Additionally, the severity and nature of the obstruction must be such that the applicant’s interest in having the obstruction removed, remedied, or restrained outweighs any other matters that suggest the undesirability of disturbing or interfering with the trees by making an order.
Usually an order is made to mandate regular pruning of the hedges as opposed to removal.