Japanese Knotweed and the Law
Japanese Knotweed is regulated by the following pieces of legislation, the main being:
- The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981
- Third party litigation where damages may be sought for allowing Japanese Knotweed to spread onto other properties.
This puts a duty of care on the landowner where Japanese Knotweed is actively growing and visible. The land owner must take reasonable action to control and implement a plan of eradication. Planning permission or mortgage application / re-mortgage will also generally be refused without an eradication programme in place for the infestation.
All parts of the plant and any soil contaminated with the rhizome are classified as controlled waste and are required legally to be removed and disposed of by a licensed waste control operator. WWCS Environmental Services are certified registered waste carriers.
Non adherence to the above stipulations may comprise of a private claim in nuisance or a private prosecution under The 1981 or 1990 Acts. The main objective is to take legal action quickly to ensure that remedial action is taken to ensure that the incidence of Knotweed does not hinder a potential new property purchase, potential development plot or spread onto neighbouring land.