GROUNDS CARE GROUP
There is now a better understanding of the threat of Japanese knotweed to the sale of properties and potential damage to homes and structures. Whilst the government recognises this and has introduced Japanese knotweed legislation, this is not covered in a single Act. In addition, more recently the case of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell  has reinforced the ability to claim under the tort of private nuisance for the loss of enjoyment and amenity value.
The various knotweed related sections of Acts are intended to help to control the spread of the plants and govern the control measures used to protect businesses, homeowners and the environment. Taken as a whole they constitute Japanese knotweed law and they enable the government to prevent the spread of this (and other) invasive plant species to try to protect our native plants.
Here at Grounds Care Group, our experienced invasive weed specialists understand the the need to comply with current Japanese knotweed law and strictly adhere to it during the course of our work. Find out more about Japanese knotweed legislation below.
The local council hold you responsible for preventing the spread and the removal of knotweed on your premises. Failure to adhere to Japanese knotweed legislation leaves you at risk of receiving a fine and also with a potential court appearance. It is therefore important to make sure you understand the various different knotweed laws to ensure that you comply. You’ll find a breakdown of the legislation associated with Japanese knotweed below.
Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014
States that under the powers of both the police and local council they have the permission to issue individuals and businesses with what is known as a Community Protection Notice. This notice requires the business to make reasonable efforts to remove the knotweed from their premises. Failure to make efforts could lead to fixed penalty notices or prosecution.
Environmental Protection Act 1990
Set out the correct methods of removing, transporting and disposing of controlled waste. These means that any soil or plant materials which have been contaminated with knotweed needs to be carefully disposed of.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
States that if any person plants or grows in the wild any plant which is included in Part II of Schedule 9 then he shall be guilty of a criminal offence. Japanese knotweed comes until one of the listed plants in Schedule 9 and if found guilty offenders may face a £5,000 fine and/or 6 months in prison, or 2 years and/or an unlimited fine.
The TA6 Form
Transactions (TA) forms have been created by The Law Society for business and residential property sales. The TA6 form includes a section for the seller to give the prospective buyer information about whether the property is ‘affected by Japanese knotweed’, and if ‘yes’ whether there is a Japanese Knotweed Management Plan in place that includes insurance? Failure to correctly completely the TA6 form could lead to legal action based on misrepresentation or breach of contract.
Although having Japanese knotweed on your premises is not technically illegal, it is against the law to cause or allow it to spread in the wild. If you do find Japanese knotweed on your property, you are not legally required to declare it to the council. However, you will be breaking the law if the Japanese knotweed on your premises spreads onto public land, or if you allow it to spread to another property and fail to act. Due to the nature of knotweed, it can very quickly spread. Japanese knotweed can be a very resilient and tough plant species to remove completely, we always advise using a professional knotweed company to make sure that the plant is removed and disposed of correctly.
When you choose to work with the Grounds Care Group you’ll benefit from our bespoke live reporting and scheduling system. For over 12 years we have been using our unique scheduling system to be more efficient and save our customers money. You’ll receive live minute by minute reporting, allowing you to stay in control of every service we provide. Our automated customer communication gives you a tool to check on job details including job receipts, quotes and inspection reports anywhere and at any time, without calling the office.