You’ll need an environmental permit or registered waste exemption before you start burning your Japanese knotweed waste. Allowing Japanese knotweed to spread to neighbouring properties may be viewed as a private nuisance under common law, but this would be a civil matter. This conclusion is supported by the experience of some experts in this area and data from Knotweed contractors. S14(2) states that “if any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part II of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence.”  A defence under s.14(3) is that the accused took all reasonable steps and exercised due diligence to avoid committing an offence. How to get rid of Japanese knotweed legally, How to use a waste carrier to take Japanese knotweed off-site, After you transfer Japanese knotweed waste. Evidence from a recent government report suggests that if a knotweed infestation remains untreated then losses of up to 10% can be incurred. The invasive plant has reached emergency proportions there. Bohemian Knotweed, like its infamous parent, Japanese Knotweed, is a non-native invasive species known to cause damage to concrete, buildings and foundations if left untreated and capable of spreading over 7 metres laterally from the plant. The Property Care Association has put together a comprehensive document detailing the best practice for the three key methods of preventing the spread of the plant. Whilst removing Japanese knotweed yourself is legal, it is incredibly difficult to do so thoroughly. In addition, the Government has confirmed that: However, Knotweed is particularly hard to eradicate compared with other plants, requiring multi-year treatment with herbicide or excavation, which is not the case with trees or plants such as buddleia. All Rights Reserved. Japanese Knotweed: How to spot it and deal with it Japanese knotweed is an infamous plant that can wreak havoc for many homeowners. Bought a House With Japanese Knotweed? In short, if you have knotweed on your land and you’re looking to dispose of it, you’ll need to follow the correct procedure should you wish to avoid a hefty fine. Case law recognises the civil wrongs of nuisance, both private and public and these are particularly relevant in Knotweed cases. Similar to here, in England and Wales it is not illegal to have Japanese Knotweed on your land, and owners disposing of it illegally may be prosecuted through waste duty of care legislation. Has your surveyor missed Japanese knotweed? Significant newspaper publicity has also been given to a 2019 court award of £50,000 relating to a case where a visually impaired property owner, Paul Ryb, instructed a chartered surveyor to undertake a comprehensive RICS level 3 survey of a flat in London he wished to purchase. You do not need to report the presence of Japanese knotweed on your land, however, should you wish to voluntarily declare your Japanese knotweed or report an infestation on public land, then you can do so by visiting the Non-native Species Secretariat website. This gives us reason to believe that the UK has taken an overly cautious approach to this plant, and that a more measured and evidence-based approach is needed to ensure that the impact is proportionate to the physical effects of the plant in the built environment”. If you find Japanese knotweed on your land then you should take care to isolate the area and establish how much of your property has been affected by the plant. Think You’ve Found Knotweed On Your Property? It is not an offence to have Japanese knotweed on your land and it is not a notifiable weed. Posted on 20th March 2015 1st March 2019 by John. Full list of resources related to Japanese knotweed legal advice: Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 section 114 (2) (WCA 1981), selling a property with Japanese knotweed, seller who has lied about Japanese knotweed, What to do if you’ve found Japanese knotweed on your property, home insurance will cover Japanese knotweed, What to do if you’ve bought a property with Japanese knotweed. If it can be proven that the knotweed has entered from a neighbouring property then you should be able to claim for the costs of the removal of the plant. This blog examines some of the latest developments in relation to the ongoing concerns over Japanese Knotweed and its hybrid forms. If you’re planning on digging up and removing your knotweed manually then you’ll need to adhere to the aforementioned waste legislations laid out in the Environment Protection Act 1990 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1984. 1143/2014, 2014). In order for a landowner to be considered to be persistently acting in a way that is detrimental to the quality of life to those in the locality (as it’s laid out in the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014) it must be proved that the individual has not taken reasonable steps to remove the infestation. Talking to the person responsible for the land should be your first port of call before taking any further action. Disputes surrounding the spread of Japanese Knotweed from one property to another are considered a civil matter between landowners. Before you begin treatment you should ensure that the person spraying holds a certificate of competence for herbicide use, or works under the supervision of someone who has one. "Poly" means many and "gony" is from the Greek for "knee", giving many jointed. Steve Nixon reviews a recent case concerning this invasive species which continues to … Mr Ryb claimed that his surveyors were negligent in failing to spot signs of the Knotweed despite carrying out a top-grade survey, and claimed damages from the firm. Japanese knotweed (also known as Fallopia japonica or Polygonum cuspidatum) is a perennial herbaceous invasive plant that is a native species of Japan.Since being imported to botanic gardens in Britain during the Victorian era Japanese knotweed has spread throughout the UK and has been labelled as ‘controlled waste’ by the government. The law on Japanese Knotweed (“Knotweed”), which will equally apply to Bohemian Knotweed, is now well established. How to legally prevent the spread of Japanese knotweed. Any remains should still be treated as controlled waste and be disposed of accordingly. We provide the below summary, but please be aware this is interim guidance; the final report from Defra has been delayed by the election, so we will follow-up as soon as this is released in early January 2020*. This notice could require the recipient to make reasonable efforts to remove the knotweed from their property or prevent the knotweed from returning. These regulations require any person using pesticide to take all reasonable precautions in order to protect the health of their fellow human beings, other creatures and plants. This precedent has been set in cases involving both individuals and large organisations, so whether you’re dealing with Japanese knotweed on council land or from a next door neighbour, you should be able to claim for the treatment of the infestation. Before you transfer any knotweed contaminated waste you must warn the waste site that you are about to transport an invasive plant and confirm that they have the correct permit to deal with the plant. What is Japanese knotweed? knotweed spreading onto your land from adjoining land, neighbour has allowed Japanese knotweed knotweed to spread into your garden, appeal for a Community Protection Notice from your local authority, In early 2018 Adam and Eleanor Smith successfully sued their neighbour, Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association. In the event that you have discovered knotweed on a property that you have purchased after a survey or TA6 property form stated otherwise, then you may be able to claim against the property surveyor or the previous owner of the property for the costs of the knotweed treatment. Read our Japanese Knotweed advice based around questions that we are frequently asked by our clients, answered by our Japanese Knotweed specialists. If you have discovered knotweed next door but the plant is yet to spread to your property, then your options for legal action against your neighbour are limited. May 09, 2019. Deciding who is responsible for clearing the Japanese knotweed should be the first step to take after the positive identification of the plant. In addition, the study has recommended that the Law Society review its Property Information Forms, in particular to decide whether the need to declare previous Knotweed problems should expire if the plant has been treated by appropriate excavation and there has been no re-growth within a certain period. This result proves that turning a blind eye to your knotweed problem is not a good idea, especially when it is threatening to leave the confines of your land. Can you spray Japanese knotweed with chemicals? If you have knotweed or suspect it to be a problem, whether you have had treatment or not, contact us for free, no obligation advice. You will need proof that you’ve formally notified the land owner of the infestation (a letter or an email) before you can appeal to your local council for a Community Protection Notice. Under the powers of this act police and local council authorities have the power to issue individuals and businesses with Community Protection Notices. There is no legal stipulation to clear Japanese knotweed from one’s land however, if the plant is allowed to spread from your land onto a neighbouring property then you will be responsible for clearing that infestation. Our blog provides observations on significant environmental, safety and health developments from around the world. According to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is the responsibility of the landowner to prevent the spread of Japanese knotweed into the wild, or neighbouring properties. These may sound like heavy penalties, but it serves to demonstrate how seriously the law treats the spread of Japanese knotweed and is intended to deter citizens from giving this plant free reign to grow on their land. The surveyor reported that the property was in excellent condition with very few defects, but missed the actively growing mature Knotweed in the garden, which was subsequently identified by Mr Ryb’s gardener. Related: What to do if you’ve found Japanese knotweed on your property. I’ve bought a house with Japanese knotweed. Japanese knotweed can lie dormant under the ground for up to 20 years before suddenly re-growing; Property owners who fail to stop the spread of knotweed on their land can face fines and even a jail sentence under ASBO legislation; To view the heatmap and identify Japanese knotweed … Legislation: Northern Ireland; Under article 15 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild Japanese knotweed or any other invasive plant listed in Part II of schedule 9 to that Order. In both cases, you should not bury any other types of waste with it. Both of their bungalows abutted a Network Rail railway embankment and access path which were infested with Japanese Knotweed and which had spread to the claimants land. The UK Government’s latest report on Knotweed published on 16 May 2019 states that “a significant industry is built around controlling Japanese Knotweed, but we were told that mortgage lenders in other countries do not treat the plant with the same degree of caution. Ruling in Mr Ryb’s favour, Judge Luba said the commissioned report “did fall short of the standard to be required of a reasonably competent surveyor”. Due to its destructive nature, Japanese knotweed in residential areas is now legislated under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. How and who do I report Japanese knotweed to? Similarly, if you have bought an infested property with the understanding that no Japanese knotweed should be present on the land, you may be able to seek legal recourse against a seller who has lied about Japanese knotweed. Understanding your legal responsibilities in regards to the knotweed growing on your land is crucial should you wish to avoid an unexpected date in court, or a run in with your local council. Japanese knotweed arrived in the UK in 1850, and since then has spread throughout most of the country. His in-depth legal experience and connections to the Japanese knotweed removal industry make him uniquely suited for handling your case. Legislation. It must be proved that the knotweed originated on your land in order for you to be held responsible for clearing it, as in the case of Smith v Line. It’s often the case that Japanese knotweed is spread by gardeners, or construction workers who do not dispose of contaminated soil in the proper fashion. If you do not remove every last trace of knotweed, it can grow back and spread even further. Knotweed Help is a trading style of Cobleys Solicitors Ltd. You should thoroughly inspect your vehicle after moving Japanese knotweed waste with it, this includes brushing down the body, jet-washing tyres and ensuring that there are no remains of the plant trapped within the vehicle. Related: What to do if you’ve bought a property with Japanese knotweed. This gives us reason to believe that the UK has taken an overly cautious approach to this plant, and that a more measured and … The Court held that “damage” (an essential requirement for a common law nuisance case) was an elastic concept and included Knotweed rhizome contamination, and in addition, that nuisance could be caused by inaction or omission as well as by positive activity. Japanese knotweed stifles native species and reduces house prices. If you’ve discovered Japanese knotweed on your own property then you’ll have a few options open to you regarding remunerations, depending on the context of your discovery of the infestation. In the eventuality where an informal conversation has not yielded any results, you can start to take the necessary steps to report Japanese knotweed infestations to your local authority. The plant lies dormant in winter but once summer arrives it can grow a foot a week and suppress other plant life in the garden. There are serious legal risks inherent with having Japanese knotweed growing on your land so it’s best to get a handle on it sooner rather than later, otherwise you may find yourself at the receiving end of a fine. Failure to spot Japanese Knotweed can be negligent Print publication. If you’re a private landowner then you do not need to ask permission from the Environment Agency, but you might want to check with your local council that you’re allowed to go ahead with burning your knotweed. This is why we recommend hiring a PCA accredited specialist to get your knotweed treated and your legal matters, if you have any, resolved quickly. Using herbicide sprays to remove Japanese knotweed is not an instant fix, depending on the size of the infestation it may take up to 3 years for the treatment to soak down into the rhizomes underground. Interestingly, home owners wishing to sell their property must fill out a property information form, called a TA6, declaring whether the property or garden is, or has been, affected by Knotweed, but developers and builders are not obliged to complete the form, which was introduced in 2013. The case law and the publicity surrounding Knotweed continues, however the latest research suggests that the physical damage to property from Knotweed is no greater than that of other disruptive plants and trees (such as buddleia) that are not subject to the same controls. Designating a clerk of works to oversee the Japanese knotweed management plan is a good way of ensuring that contractors treat Japanese knotweed in an appropriate manner. Following the Committee’s paper of 16 May 2019, the Government has welcomed the Committee’s findings, agreeing that Japanese knotweed (“JK”) may have been disproportionately singled out above other invasive plants and that an evidenced-based approach is required. 633045. Legislation knotweed-wales 2019-10-21T21:00:06+00:00. There are a few proven methods of managing Japanese knotweed. If you choose to not answer truthfully on this questionnaire then a prospective buyer could sue you under the Misrepresentation Act. A Japanese knotweed specific question is included on most pre-contract enquiry questionnaires, which are based on the Law Society’s TA6 Form. You’ll also need to ensure that you keep in mind the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. It will be interesting to see if these studies lead to any shift in approach away from the “menace to homeowners” that Knotweed is currently considered to be. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) belongs to the plant family Polgonaceae. If you’ve more questions about Japanese knotweed legislation or are seeking further legal advice in regards to a Knotweed infestation then please don’t hesitate in calling us on 07595 653 226 or sending us a message using the contact form. These new Japanese knotweed laws have been added to pre-existing laws relating to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, and join older legislation such as the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. As this plant is such a fast grower, it is usually only a matter of time before this happens and your troubles multiply. You can bury Japanese knotweed at the site it’s produced as long as you: bury it at a depth of at least 5 metres. Published 18 September 2019. The content of this website for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Even when removed, if a small piece of root or stem is left in the ground it can re-infest the land. A Guide To Getting Rid Of Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Knotweed Growing In Neighbour’s Garden: Legal Implications, Has Your Property Seller Lied About Japanese Knotweed? This case highlights the duty of care on surveyors and other consultants carrying out surveys in relation to the presence of Knotweed on a site. Choosing to ignore its presence on your land can often prove to be a costly mistake. If you’re planning on moving knotweed, or knotweed contaminated soil, off-site then you must use a registered waste carrier and ensure that the waste is taken to a licensed landfill site. The presence of Japanese knotweed can lead to a home being devalued by up to 5% which can be a difference of thousands of pounds for homeowners. Here’s What To Do. What is Japanese Knotweed? Ensure that any waste is also covered or enclosed within the vehicles that you’re using for the task. Besides the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, the main legislation that identifies and controls Japanese knotweed is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981). In early 2018 Adam and Eleanor Smith successfully sued their neighbour after they discovered a serious knotweed infestation on their land which had entered from an adjacent property. Japanese knotweed-infested soil that has been treated can be reused for landscaping the site, but should not be taken off site, unless to landfill. It is a rhizomatous (produces underground stems) perennial plant with distinctive, branching, hollow, bamboo-like stems, covered in purple speckles, often reaching 2-3 metres high. Here’s What to Do. We have developed a range of UK-based training options to provide you with practical, commercial and tailored assistance where you need it most. My surveyor missed the Japanese knotweed – can I do anything about it? If your neighbour has allowed Japanese knotweed knotweed to spread into your garden, you should inform them of this. Japanese knotweed Legislation in Urban areas. VAT Number 477 2974 93. If your infestation happens to be close to a water source you’ll need to apply for approval from the Environment Agency. Has Your Surveyor Missed Japanese Knotweed? Who is liable when Japanese Knotweed spreads from someone else’s land? Getting A Mortgage With Japanese Knotweed, Dormant Japanese Knotweed: Your Questions Answered. Related: How To Identify Japanese Knotweed. This Order is similar to existing legislation, but there are a number of changes that apply to regulated species: 1. 11 Soil containing rhizome material can be regarded as contaminated and, if taken off a site, must be disposed of at a suitably licensed landfill site and buried to a depth of at least 5 metres. Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Although it’s possible to confuse Japanese knotweed with a number of other common plants found in England, there are a handful of tell-tale signs that should tell you if you’re dealing with an infestation or not. By Paolo Martini on 11th February 2019 (updated: 14th July 2020) in News. What should I do? Should you wish to legally build on land with Japanese knotweed then you will need to follow a few steps, to ensure that you’re not held liable years down the line. Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (‘WCA’) lists certain plants and animal invasive non-native species that have become established in the UK but which the law seeks to prevent spreading further. To bring a successful claim, the claimant needs to demonstrate that the knotweed originated from the adjoining land, and that the knotweed is causing the claimant owner “nuisance”. The government has introduced a number of Japanese knotweed laws and regulations surrounding the control, growth and transportation of Japanese Knotweed in order to protect homeowners, businesses and the environment alike. Although Japanese knotweed is not poisonous or directly “dangerous” to people, the continued spread of Japanese Knotweed poses a threat to the environment, homeowners and business owners alike. New Japanese knotweed legislation was introduced in 2014, including fines of up to £2,500 for homeowners who fail to control Japanese knotweed on their property. Japanese knotweed in Great Britain were £166m per year (equivalent to over £200m in 2018 prices6), including the cost of treating the plant in the rail and road networks and property devaluation.7 2. These notices are only reserved for those who persistently or continually act in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. You could be due significant compensation. Japanese Knotweed is a woody stemmed herbaceous perennial rhizomatous plant, and is a member of the Buckwheat (Polygonaceae) family. In the event where you are granted permission to bury your Japanese knotweed waste on your own land then you must adhere to a handful of guidelines to ensure that the plant does not make a resurgence once more. Who is responsible for clearing Japanese knotweed? Environement Agency on knotweed. Discovering the source of a Japanese knotweed infestation is key to determining what party is at fault. Both these actions have been recommended for the end of this year. Homeowners can often be placed in a difficult position where they’re aware that a knotweed infestation is close to their borders, but feel powerless to stop it spreading onto their own property. Business owners should give the Environment Agency a week’s notice before burning knotweed and should also inform the environmental health officer at their local council. Japanese knotweed disposal… If you plant or cause a Schedule 9 weed to grow you may face a £20k fine or 6 months in prison. The Property Care Association (PCA) has announced that reports of this hybrid, known as “Bohemian Knotweed” are rising and the ideal recent growing conditions for the weed have increased concern that it might spread rapidly across the UK. Under s. 14 (2) WCA it is an offence to plant Knotweed or “cause it to grow” in the wild (and arguably this provision would catch allowing knotweed to spread over boundaries beyond an individual’s property). relating to its release and disposal of waste). They were able to claim for the costs of removing the knotweed and their neighbour had to commit to a 5-year treatment plan, to ensure that the infestation would not return. According to the Government, anyone seeking to get rid of their Japanese knotweed must use a registered waste carrier and a suitable disposal site. If they do not take reasonable steps to control the knotweed after they’ve been informed of the infestation, then you should be able to appeal for a Community Protection Notice from your local authority to force them to do so. A  leading cited Knotweed case is the 2018 case of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and another. Property surveyors are not infallible, their mistakes can lead to buyers purchasing properties under the impression that their home is free of faults, when in fact the opposite is true. Japanese knotweed is not listed in the EU List of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern since there is insufficient evidence that it meets the listing criteria (Reg. ... Trafford will still use glyphosate on the toughest weeds, including Japanese knotweed. You will be liable for the spread of the plant even if you have attempted to stop its spread by composting or burying it. Now considered one of the country's leading litigators in Japanese knotweed law he works alongside the country’s top barristers and experts. It was originally brought to Britain for its beauty and was named the “most interesting ornamental plant of the year” in 1847. These laws have been put into legislation slowly over the years as a reaction to the growing spread of invasive plant species in the UK. It’s important that you either supervise the disposal of the infestation yourself, or hire a specialist to take responsibility for it. Read more. If you have pictures of your suspected knotweed problem, upload them here. Robert Twining gives an overview of the current law relating to Japanese Knotweed. As a result, a property affected by Japanese knotweed, whether it is in their boundary or within 7 meters, loses value. The claimants in this case Mr Williams and Mr Waistell, were adjoining freehold owners of semi-detatched bungalows in South Wales. 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