There’s lots of things you may want to know if you suspect you have Japanese knotweed on your site. You’ll find everything you’re ever likely to want to know about your Japanese knotweed survey here, but if you still have questions just give our experts a call!
Japanese Knotweed Background
Within the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981, there is provision that any person that releases or allows to escape into the wild any animal, which:
a) is of a kind which is not ordinarily resident in and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state; or
b) is included in Part I of Schedule 9, shall be guilty of an offence.
Also, any person that causes to grow (which includes causing it to spread from one site to another) in the wild any plant which is included on Part II of Schedule 9; shall be guilty of an offence. Currently, Japanese knotweed is included on this list.
Knotweed is also listed as controled waste under the Environmental Protection Act so it can only be disposed of at licenced landfill sites. Japanese knotweed was brought over to Europe, from Japan by a botanist named Phillipp von Siebold. At first, the plant was was praised for it’s beauty and potential for use as animal feed. Eventually it made it’s way into the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh and began to be sold commercially by nurseries. As the plant started to make it’s way accross the UK, it eventually got out of control by spreading, undetected via waterways and the movement of contaminated soil that was used for construction.
Why Knotweed Causes Problems
Knotweed causes problems because it spreads so quickly and it is very difficult to get rid of. It is a robust plant, capable of growing in difficult conditions on the sides of Japanese volcanos, so in the comparatively welcoming climate of the UK it can grow far more rapidly. You may of heard the horror stories of home owners having the price of their home slashed because it emerged that Knotweed was present on their property or property developers being refused planning permission due to Knotweed on the site.
Japanese Knotweed and Mortgages
Winter stand of Japanese knotweed
If a surveyor finds Japanese knotweed on a site and includes this in a report, it can seriously harm the chances of a loan provider giving you the funds you need. Some lenders including Barclays and Santander require that you get a professional in to eradicate the knotweed before a mortgage offer is made. Knotweed eradication can cost in the region of £3000 and it can take some time to sort out the problem, with treatments sometimes needing to be done over a number of seasons.
Other lenders have slightly more flexible guidelines. Nationwide, Northern Rock and Clydesdale all require a report from a specialist surveyor before they would consider lending. Mortgage lenders are worried about lending on houses that are infected with Japanese knotweed because infestations can seriously affect the ability for the property to be resold in the future and in extreme circumstances the roots can even affect drainage systems and foundations.
Starting Your Japanese Knotweed Survey
Arbtech can provide a Japanese knotweed survey by our experienced consultants. It is important to seek professional advice if you have been asked to obtain a Japanese knotweed survey and the first step is to simple give us a call or fill in the quote form by clicking on the ‘Get a Free Quote’ button on this page. We will be able to provide you with a free quote that explains everything you need to know.