William Eichler 07 December 2018

Council secures UK’s first Japanese Knotweed prosecution

Council secures UK’s first Japanese Knotweed prosecution  image

A Bristol property owner has become the first person to be prosecuted for failing to control the spread of Japanese Knotweed.

MB Estate Limited were fined £18,000 plus costs when the council took the case to Bristol Magistrates Court.

They were also ordered to secure a plan within a month from a specialist company detailing how the issue will be resolved.

Bristol City Council had served the company with a community protection notice back in May 2017 following complaints from seven neighbouring properties.

After no attempt was made to comply with the notice, the city council took the decision to prosecute the property’s owner using the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

‘It is unfortunate that the council needed to resort to formal action, but we hope that this sends a message that appropriate action will be taken, when necessary, to protect the public,’ said Cllr Kye Dudd, cabinet member with responsibility for regulatory services.

‘Knotweed has the potential to cause significant nuisance to property owners, causing structural damage as well as anxiety over the effect on property prices and the ability to secure a mortgage.’

For advice on tackling Japanese Knotweed read our feature, 'Japanese knotweed: New advice to tackle a growing problem.'

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The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

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