Guide gives clarity on Japanese knotweed

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A new guide has been launched by the Property Care Association (PCA) to give a comprehensive picture on the main issues surrounding the invasive plant Japanese knotweed.

The move follows the recent announcement from the Home Office that it is has reformed anti-social powers to introduce Community Protection Notices that could be used to deal with non-native invasive plants.

Written by Professor Max Wade – chairman of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group – the guide gives details about the government’s introduction of Community Protection Notices, which could see fines of up to £20,000 imposed for companies failing to tackle the problem.

Individuals would be forced to comply too, or face a fine of up to £2,500.

Along with details on the new control measures, the eight-page PCA guide, entitled ‘A guide to the problems caused by Japanese knotweed and how to deal with them’ also provides some useful dos and don’ts, details on preventative measures to stop the plant taking hold in the first place and guidance on how to recognise it.

The guide is available to view from the PCA’s homeowner guidance zone at http://www.property-care.org/EZine.03G.asp

Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “The guide offers a timely overview to Japanese knotweed and gives information that will help inform individuals and companies on the action they need to take should they face problems with non-native invasive weeds.

“The guidance is particularly useful in light of the new development from the Home Office in dealing with invasive weeds, which will increase the demand to eradicate plants such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed.”

In 2012, the Property Care Association – which has been in formation for more than 80 years – worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association, together with Japanese knotweed control companies that currently operate within the UK, to set up the Invasive Weed Control Group, to signpost consumers to professional treatment companies.

Mr Hodgson added: “Japanese knotweed is just a plant and we are taking all steps necessary to ‘normalise’ it, so it is viewed generally as any other type of property problem, in that it can be identified and treated, with minimal impact.

“The new guide is part of that process and we hope it helps clarify the main points surrounding the plant to individuals and companies alike.”