Neighbourhood nuisance

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica) is a perennial invasive plant. it is a problem because:

  • It spreads easily via rhizomes and cut stems or crowns; it thrives on disturbance and the tiniest piece can re-grow.
  • It is difficult and to control or eradicate.
  • It can cause structural damage to buildings.
What the law says
Japanese knotweed is listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as a plant that is not to be planted or otherwise introduced into the wild. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 also lists it as 'controlled waste' to be disposed of properly. There is a legal obligation not to cause it to spread if it occurs on your land.

If you have Japanese knotweed on your land you may be causing a private nuisance to surrounding properties. You should control the Japanese knotweed to prevent further spreading.

When we take action
If Japanese knotweed on a neighbouring property is causing a nuisance to you, we would always recommend that you co-operate with the landowner and seek to control the problem amicably, rather than resort to legal action. This is an issue under Common Law and the Council has no powers in this situation.

If Japanese knotweed is not controlled the council may in extreme cases be able to take action under the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, however it is recommended you discuss your concerns with the landowner prior to contacting the council.

Further information
The Environment Agency has information on how to eradicate Japanese knotweed.

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