Knotweed growth can be described like ‘an iceberg’ – the growth below ground rhizomes (roots) which do the damage, often extend more than 2 metres downwards from any visible surface plant growth. To mitigate against the impact of Japanese knotweed, bringing in the expertise of an invasive weed specialist, as recommended in the Environment Agency Code of Practice, is essential. Excavation of knotweed impacted land should favour on-site solutions such as relocation and/or burial; these must comply with the EA CoP. . 2. . A very, very problematic species. 5 An assessment framework for Japanese Knotweed 9 5.1 Introduction 9 5.2 Collection of information 9 5.3 Identification of Japanese Knotweed 10 5.4 Building an assessment framework 11 5.5 The risk assessment of Japanese Knotweed 11 5.6 Properties previously affected by Japanese Knotweed 12 5.7 Management plan 12 Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property, 1st edition By setting out a framework for objectively assessing and reporting the risk posed to a property by the presence of Japanese knotweed, this paper assists home-owners, purchasers and lenders in making informed decisions. Anyone ignoring a Japanese knotweed ASBO (A nti-Social Behaviour O rder) can be charged … A PCA accredited specialist will keep their own records and will have procedures in place to make such information available to their clients. It can also create a fire hazard in the dormant season. . Japanese Knotweed Encroachment. Yes, under Regulation 49(2) any person who plants, disperses, allows or causes to disperse, spreads or otherwise causes to grow Japanese knotweed or any of the other invasive plants listed in the Third Schedule of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. . This arises from a popular perception that Japanese knotweed can cause significant damage to buildings, and some mortgage lenders have adopted strict no-knotweed policies which have resulted in prospective buyers withdrawing from a purchase (see Chapter 4). https://www.gov.uk/japanese-knotweed-giant-hogweed- and-other-invasive-plants, ( http://www.property-care.org/Homeowners. Having Japanese knotweed can result in adverse publicity, cause damage to hard surfaces, built structures and will discourage financial institutions from providing building insurance. We may be focused on knotweed here but banks and building societies consider a large matrix of risk factors, not least of which are simple matters such as loan-to-value ratios etc. . Japanese knotweed was introduced to North America in the late 1800s as an ornamental as well as for erosion control and landscape screening. It is extremely difficult to eradicate after any construction work is complete, so future property owners must not be burdened with this invasive species. With that being said, it was noted that whilst trees such as buddleias could feasibly do more damage to property than Japanese knotweed, these trees were much easier to remove. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on their land or Japanese knotweed within 7 metres, it is extremely difficult to secure a mortgage against the property. This requires large volumes of sub-soil being taken off-site to a registered landfill site licenced to take the waste, which creates extra financial implications for any construction site. If the plant is allowed to spread, whether during the construction process or by any other means, the owner of the land will be liable to fines or imprisonment. Whilst there have been several precedents set in recent years which have solidified certain aspects of Japanese knotweed law, it’s not uncommon for landowners to be unsure of where they stand when it comes to building on land with Japanese knotweed. Due to the plant’s seasonal growth patterns, and tenacious growth characteristics, the entire removal of the Japanese knotweed could be required in order to ensure that it does not disturb foundations, or exploit any weaknesses whilst searching for a route to moisture and sunlight. Can I look at plans relating to a property that I do not own? This plant has the capability to grow up to 3 metres deep and 7 metres laterally from its visible point above ground, so in the case of large infestations, underground rhizome systems can sometimes be spread much further than may first appear. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on their land or Japanese knotweed within 7 metres, it is extremely difficult to secure a mortgage against the property. Rt Hon Normal Lamb MP, chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said: “We need an evidence-based and nuanced approach to the issue, one that reassures owners and buyers that they will not be subject to disproportionate caution when trying to buy or sell a property.” Japanese knotweed material and soil containing rhizomes (roots), is classified as “controlled waste” and as such must be disposed of safely at a licensed landfill site and buried at a depth of no less than 5 metres or incinerated at an appropriate facility (Duty of Care Regulations 1991 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990). . Obtain specialist guidance, referring to the Environment Agency's guide below. In addition, if a property has Japanese knotweed, it will impede the sale of such a building. . New buildings can be developed on Japanese knotweed infested land, however, in order to legally do so, the presence of the plant should be declared and accounted for as part of the planning process. Knotweed is a highly successful invader of wetlands, stream corridors, forest edges, and drainage ditches across the country. Please visit the Department for Environment website. It has also been used as an erosion control plant. How much could a property be devalued by, if it’s built on Japanese knotweed? In addition, if a property has Japanese knotweed, it will impede the sale of such a building. Will Japanese knotweed deter developers from buying land to build on? Japanese knotweed is classed as 'controlled waste' under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You will also find it impossible to sell property with an untreated knotweed problem - no bank or building society will approve a mortgage application. Ensure that all remediation work is fully documented and recorded in order to meet all legal obligations. . A property can be devalued by as much as 20%, if Japanese knotweed is discovered on the land it is built on. For example, if the Japanese knotweed is only discovered in an isolated patch, then it may be possible for this portion of land to be demarcated and for construction to continue regardless. Is planning permission required to build on land with Japanese knotweed? Do not put any part of the knotweed plant, dead or alive, in your compost. By the mid-1890s, it was reported near Philadelphia, PA, Schenectady, NY, and in New Jersey. This will include an assessment of control options, criteria for the completion of control measures and details on how those working on the site will prevent the further spread of the knotweed. It is essential that when developing land impacted by Japanese knotweed, developers are aware of the risks posed to avoid the pitfalls of costly remediation, litigation and resale issues. The presence of Japanese knotweed will likely act as a deterrent for most developers who are planning on building on the land. Working across Sussex, Surrey, Kent, London and beyond, Japanese Knotweed Sussex are a leading specialist in the identification, removal and control of the invasive plant species Japanese Knotweed.. Invasive plants negatively impact on native species and habitats, transforming and threatening whole ecosystems. The presence of Japanese Knotweed will also have a devastating impact on the value of any property. Japanese Knotweed costs the UK economy an estimated £166 million per year for treatment and in property devaluations. A thorough Japanese knotweed survey, in association with a set of planning conditions, can help to decide whether the development will be able to begin before, after or during the treatment of the plant. Background. Implement the Knotweed Management Plan, treating or removing knotweed-impacted land as appropriate. If you have pictures of your suspected knotweed problem, upload them here. No, plans deposited with a local authority under the Building Regulations are not documents which the public are entitled to inspect under the Local Government Act 1972. It was agreed that whilst the destructive abilities of Japanese knotweed had been overblown by some in the industry, their hardiness and resistance to traditional forms of removal had not been understated. It was later found to be very invasive, with a pernicious root system that can stretch up to three meters downward and up to seven meters sideward. . This also applies to property owners wishing to build a house extension in close proximity to knotweed. Through their experience doing pre-site investigations, 2020 Architects have become very good at identifying this deadly weed, often referred to as the ‘terrorist’ of the weed world. . Generally having any invasive species listed under annex 2 of the S.I. Yes it can, but this tends to be where there is some impairment or weakness in the structure such as a crack or a thin covering of surface material. In order to build on land that has Japanese knotweed, developers should set out planned conditions, so that they do not inadvertently spread the plant, and they should also inform any future buyers that Japanese knotweed is present, regardless of if it has already been treated. and how they manage invasive knotweed species. Once identified, fence-off the knotweed and use signage to warn other site users of the issues with knotweed; Do not excavate or use machinery/vehicles on or near to impacted land; Do not cut with flails or strimmers. In extreme cases, a home can be almost completely devalued by Japanese knotweed, such as in the case of the Jones’, a family in Bedford who were told that their new build had dropped in price from £350,000 to £50,000, after having lived there for one month. The base of the leaf tends to be straight across and it tapers sharply at the tip. This legal loophole has allowed new build developers to complete their work and then sell to homeowners who are unaware that they are buying a property affected by the invasive plant. Ignoring the presence of the plant and choosing to move soil contaminated with Japanese knotweed is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which can lead to a heavy fine and even imprisonment. This knotweed code of practice has been written for anyone involved in the development and haulage industry who may encounter sites with Japanese knotweed, or soil containing it. Do you have to declare Japanese knotweed after it’s been built on? Its broad leaves are somewhat triangular and pointed at the tip. Note: This blog was used as the basis for an article written for the Building Engineer Magazine November 2018 edition p14-15. Japanese knotweed is especially persistent due to its vigorous root system, which can spread nearly 10 metres from the … However, a fee may be charged if advisory work is involved. Company Registration Number – 03943212, England and Wales. . In a recent report by the Science and Technology Committee, experts from across the industry gave their findings on how the plant affects buildings, and whilst many agreed that it was capable of damaging buildings, it was admitted that this damage was no worse than what could be done by common trees. Arguably the most invasive plant in the UK, Japanese knotweed is already highly regulated. . For this very reason, some railway companies have, in the past, actively planted Japanese Knotweed to strengthen embankments. … Pull up knotweed or put knotweed material in refuse bins; Do not allow any knotweed material to enter water courses; Good site hygiene helps avoid the unnecessary spread of … Davies v Marshalls (Plumbing and Building Development) ... (under the controlled waste provisions of the Environmental Protection Act and the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994), but this note concentrates on civil liability in negligence. . In addition to identifying Japanese knotweed, a survey can help define the extent to which the plant affects the property, this could then impact any control plans that might be put together. Japanese knotweed is an herbaceous perennial which forms dense clumps 1-3 meters (3-10 feet) high. Japanese knotweed, for example, can grow through tarmac and can cause structural damage to property, whilst Giant hogweed can cause harm to human health. Section 14(2) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 states “ If any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in part 2 of schedule 9, he shall be guilty of offence. Japanese knotweed is currently considered to be a risk to buildings which are within seven metres of the plant. Japanese knotweed was introduced to North America in the late 1800s as an ornamental as well as for erosion control and landscape screening. Access for plant and logistics for the removal of knotweed need to be assessed; 2. Further reading RICS ebook – Japanese Knotweed and residential property (2012) 1st ed. Japanese knotweed can cause financial difficulties to both homeowners and building developers, especially when plans have been made to build on land that is home to the invasive plant. Clusters of tiny greenish-white flowers are borne in leaf axils during August and September. Although the destructive ability of Japanese knotweed has been exaggerated by some media sources, the plant still remains a force to be reckoned with. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) has leaves that are about 6 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. Japanese knotweed is an aggressive semi-woody perennial plant that is native to eastern Asia. . 1) Get a professional Japanese Knotweed Survey and Management Plan report done A professional Japanese Knotweed Survey and Management Plan report should highlight all the issues and the costs. Footpaths become crowded with tall canes, making it difficult for pedestrians to see and making them feel less safe. 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. In the 1800’s it was introduced to North America as an ornamental species and also planted for erosion control. 633045. There is no insurance under the contamination cover of the LABC Warranty policy for Japanese knotweed as it is not a notifiable contaminant. They can cause serious problems to rural and urban economies and the environment. Japanese knotweed is a non-native invasive weed and can cause extensive damage to buildings and structures. On-site Management Failure to manage Japanese knotweed … No. Property owners do not have to declare Japanese knotweed after building on the land if they are planning on staying on the property, however, they should make any potential buyer of the property aware about the presence of Japanese knotweed, otherwise, they may be liable for misrepresentation. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatumSieb. . We are London's leading Japanese Knotweed eradication specialists. ), a member of the buckwheat family, was introduced into the U.S. from Eastern Asia (Japan, China, Korea) as an ornamental on estates in the late-1800s. It is a very aggressive escaped ornamental that is capable of forming dense stands, crowding out all other vegetation and degrading wildlife habitat. Its broad leaves are somewhat triangular and pointed at the tip. It should be noted that, besides the devaluation of the property, there might also be additional costs incurred as a result of building on land with Japanese knotweed. Any soil or Knotweed taken off-site requires disposal only at licensed landfill sites. . Japanese knotweed Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), is an invasive herbaceous perennial (a plant that can live more than one year). It’s best to call the centre to ensure they’re able to accept it. 477 of 2011) shall be guilty of an offence. It’s considered invasive in Connecticut because it’s fast growing and forms dense stands that shade out native plants and reduce wildlife habitat and biodiversity. In a survey of 100 individuals who had been affected by Japanese knotweed (undertaken by the Crop Protection Association), 15% had seen a property deal through as a result of the discovery of the plant, whereas 20% saw a drop in their house value and 10% were forced to pay compensation of some kind as a result of finding the plant on their land. buildings and hard surfaces. Indeed the natural extension of the rhizome network is one of the ways for knotweed to spread. There have been several cases in recent years where building developers have chosen to ignore or hide the Japanese knotweed on their land, in order to avoid stalling their construction and to hasten the sale of the finished properties. That is why we have created a database of registered members who are industry leading and qualified invasive weed specialists. Japanese Knotweed Encroachment. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica syn. Uniquely, members also have the ability to offer independent, insurance backed guarantees. The PCA understands that having confidence in your Japanese Knotweed or Invasive Weed contractor is absolutely essential. For example, if the seller attempts to lie about the presence of Japanese knotweed on their land, then they could be sued for misrepresentation by the buyer. SEPA gives approvals under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 for use of pesticides in or near water. Knotweed treatment programmes should include management plans to demonstrate that a client’s future land use objectives can be met (the PCA Code of Practice acknowledges that herbicide treatment alone is not normally enough to allow development to progress on previously impacted land). ( http://www.property-care.org/Homeowners. Find a Japanese Knotweed or Invasive weed Specialist. Individuals, businesses or organisations have a legal responsibility to prevent certain invasive non-native plants or injurious weeds on their premises spreading into the wild. You could be due significant compensation. Japanese knotweed was introduced from Japan in 1825 as an ornamental plant. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica syn. They can cause serious problems to rural and urban economies and the environment. By Paolo Martini on 4th February 2020 (updated: 4th February 2020) in News. . When a Japanese knotweed infestation of 4 acres was discovered before work was due to be undertaken on the Olympic Park for the 2012 games, it was decided that treatment and removal of the plant could be managed in tandem with construction. . Because Japanese knotweed is classified as “controlled waste” by the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, many places, like the United Kingdom, require you to dispose of it at a licensed landfill site. Japanese knotweed is a very serious invasive. By setting out a framework for objectively assessing and reporting the risk posed to a property by the presence of Japanese knotweed, this paper assists home-owners, purchasers and lenders in making informed decisions. By Paolo Martini on 11th February 2019 (updated: 14th July 2020) in News. Physical damages This time-lapse shows how much it grows in a week. Can new buildings be developed on land with Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed is often mistaken for bamboo; however it is easily distinguished by its broad leaves and its ability to survive Ontario winters. . Agree a Knotweed Management Plan as recommended by the EA. It is difficult to control once established. . If Japanese knotweed is found then lenders can insist on further specialist inspection and, dependent on the level of contamination, it should either be subjected to a treatment programme with a suitable insurance policy protecting the customer against future infestation. & Zucc. The plant, which … Will Japanese knotweed grow through new builds? Obtain specialist guidance, referring to the Environment Agency's guide below. If Japanese knotweed is on or within 7 metres of any proposed site you should seek specialist advice; Once identified, fence-off the knotweed and use signage to warn other site users of the issues with knotweed; Do not excavate or use machinery/vehicles on or near to impacted land; Do not cut with flails or strimmers. Is Japanese knotweed a regulated species in Ireland? . According to the USDA, it’s now present in 42 states. No liability shall be accepted by the Directors of Cobleys Solicitors Ltd. Cobleys Solicitors Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA No. Getting rid of Japanese knotweed on development land is something of a grey area. In order to avoid large fines, developers should ensure that only registered waste carriers are … Japanese knotweed’s rhizome growth will frequently extend several metres beyond the current extent of the top growth - and this defines the extent of the contaminated zone. Note: Clients are advised to obtain more than one estimate or quotation for the purpose of comparison, but should remember that price is only one factor in selecting a service provider. legislation and regulations in Great Britain, and includes the following: • why Japanese Knotweed has become a problem • how Japanese Knotweed can damage a property, and • the effective treatment of Japanese Knotweed in a residential context. Japanese knotweed may need to be removed from land before building commences, depending on the severity of the infestation. The expertise and credibility of a PCA member enables them to complete contracted excavations or provide experienced technicians to oversee excavation works. If you have discovered Japanese knotweed on your land and are unsure if you should build on it, or if you’ve found it on a property that you’ve recently bought, then we may be able to offer you some legal guidance. Excavating too much is inefficient and costly, while too little will not lead to Knotweed remediation. Please visit the Department for Environment website. It must be disposed of in a licensed waste disposal centre (including the soil dug up with the knotweed). Clients are advised to confirm their instructions with the contractor from the outset. These laws have been put into legislation slowly over the years as a reaction to the growing … Therefore, Japanese knotweed doesn't have to be located within the boundary of your property for a surveyor to categorise your property from being at risk from Japanese knotweed. Japanese Knotweed in the wild; Environmental Protection Act 1990 – classifies Japanese Knotweed as controlled waste; Duty of Care Regulations 1991 (Amended 2003) – failure to dispose of Japanese; Knotweed according to may lead to a criminal prosecution. Due to the strict limitations placed on the movement of knotweed contaminated waste, the Environment Agency, London Development Agency and Olympic Delivery Authority devised a varied approach including glyphosate treatment, burning and burial beneath a protective membrane. As a result, the market takes competency very seriously. Whose responsibility is it to survey, inform and take care of Japanese knotweed removal? Planning conditions set out how the Japanese knotweed will be controlled throughout the building development. Whilst there is no requirement for a TA6 property form, homebuyers can protect themselves by asking their conveyancing solicitor to ask the developer about any history of Japanese knotweed on the site. . The cost of remediation should never be underestimated, particularly if impacted land is to be excavated and infested soil removed from site. Paolo Martini is the lead solicitor for Knotweed Help and has over 30 years of experience in the field of Civil Litigation and is an expert on the legal issues faced by individuals dealing with Japanese knotweed on their land. For general information about Japanese knotweed, its identification and guidance for its control you can download our leaflet This includes a useful decision tree for deciding on the best course of action. His in-depth legal experience and connections to the Japanese knotweed removal industry make him uniquely suited for handling your case. . . The Property Care Association (PCA) Invasive Weed Group is the only truly independent trade body recognised by the Environment Agency (EA) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors where member companies are vetted and assessed. Management Options This guidance note covers the management of Japanese knotweed and knotweed infested soil on-site and off-site. 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