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Section 154 Notices Explained

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A section 154 notice refers to cutting or felling trees that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths.

Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.

Upon receipt of a complaint relating to overhanging or obstructive vegetation, a standard letter can be sent to the occupier asking for their co-operation and allowing 14 days to remove the obstruction. The complainant will also be sent a letter advising of this course of action and asking them to advise the department if the vegetation has not been removed after 14 days.

Dangerous trees – If the complaint relates to a tree or vegetation, which is causing or likely to cause a danger to members of the public, an officer from the Forestry Department would be responsible to take action.

If the obstruction is not removed the officer will visit and investigate. At this point, it may be necessary to serve a Notice under the provisions of section 154 of the Highways Act 1980. Appropriate action should be taken within 14 days. A section 154 notice would include the requirement to clear up the debris cut or felled from the vegetation in question together with the attendant litter that has accumulated as a result of the overgrowth.

If the work is not carried out then the work may be done by default. If no corrective action is taken within a specified time to allow the person served with the notice time to appeal. The actual costs of this work will be invoiced to the person responsible.

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