WHAT IS JAPANESE KNOTWEED AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
Japanese Knotweed is probably the best known, non-native plant species in the UK. Most people will know someone who has had difficulty getting insurance / a mortgage / selling their home / low valuations etc etc; it is really quite incredible the impact this one plant species has had throughout the UK. Whether you agree or disagree with the hype that surrounds this species, one thing that cannot be disputed is the effect it has had on the housing sector over the last decade!
While current guidance is under review by RICS, to some degree the damage has already been done. Like it or not, the presence of Japanese Knotweed makes purchasers very nervous. Japanese Knotweed is still controlled by legislation and our best advice remains to use a reputable specialist and put a management programme in place as soon as you can. This can be done any time of the year, summer or winter, it makes no difference as the control measures can be put in place immediately. While the management of this species does not need to be expensive it should be carried out by someone who is experienced in the management of this species otherwise you may end up throwing good money after bad. SMART offers really good budget management options for residential properties which have options to upgrade to a sellers package when circumstances require it.
In the construction industry it is important to note that, irrespective of RICS recommendations, soils containing viable plant parts are classified as controlled waste by both the Environment Agency and also SEPA in Scotland. As such, movement or disturbance of any infested soils must comply with current waste management regulations, with appropriate certification and waste carriers licenses etc being in place. In summary, movement of viable Japanese Knotweed infested soils must be carried out in a controlled manner or you may be prosecuted by the relevant regulatory body.
The management and eradication of Japanese knotweed requires specialist knowledge.