Japanese knotweed was introduced into the UK in the mid 19th century and is now the most common of four knotweed invasive plants found in the UK. It is reported to grow up to 10 cm a day and it can cause damage to buildings and infrastructure.
From a legal perspective, the presence of Japanese Knotweed can be an absolute minefield. It is often identified after the purchase or development of land, which can lead to allegations of misrepresentation of the previous landowner(s). If it is overlooked by a surveyor during their inspection, allegations of professional negligence can arise.
Once Japanese Knotweed has been identified, the landowner must not let it establish or spread off site. If it encroaches onto neighbouring land, this can result in allegations of nuisance or encroachment. And alongside the possibility for civil disputes, there are also criminal sanctions which can result from the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Landowners who have identified Japanese Knotweed on their land are advised to seek expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Locals blast council after 'rampant' six foot tall Japanese Knotweed which has taken over a park starts creeping towards their homes like a scene out of 'The Day of the Triffids'