Local resident, Austin Espeut, claims that Wiltshire Council have acted illegally because they have left an invasive species to spread down a river.
Mr Espeut said that the way that the local council were dealing with the patch of Japanese knotweed in the centre of Chippenham was so poor that it breaks the law regarding Japanese knotweed. Under the law, it is an offence to allow the spread of Japanese knotweed. The spreading of Japanese knotweed in Chippenham has been made worse because the plant is next to the water. As parts of the invasive weed fall off into water it can easily spread down the river.
Wiltshire Council have been accused by Mr Espeut of acting illegally, because as landowners, they are responsible for ensuring that it does not spread.
The law on spreading Japanese knotweed
The Wildlife and Countryside Act states that you can be sued if Japanese knotweed spreads onto your neighbours land with fines of up to £40,000.
These fines are because Japanese knotweed spreads very easily - if you were to cut down Japanese knotweed and then leave a cutting on the ground it can easily grow into a whole new plant. There have also been cases where banks have refused mortgages on properties affected by Japanese knotweed.
The Rotter responds to Japanese knotweed spread
Les Meikle from Wise Property Care responded to allegations of the council acting illegally by saying that "Japanese knotweed spreads very easily and it is extremely important that it is cleaned up properly. Even the smallest piece can grow into a whole new plant."
"It is a positive step that the council are taking action on the Japanese knotweed in Chipperham and anything to stop the spread of Japanese knotweed is welcomed. Japanese knotweed treatment is a tricky business and it is important to do it properly."
Speak to a Japanese knotweed expert
If you suspect there is Japanese knotweed on your property then call Wise Knotweed Solutions today on 0808 231 9218 to help and advice or find your local branch.
Alternatively, you can email us online using our contact form.
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