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Japanese Knotweed and The Law

The following pieces of legislation can and will affect you if you have Japanese Knotweed on your property (commercial or residential).

The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981

Legislation: The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides the primary controls on the release of non native species into the wild in Great Britain.  It is an offence under Section 14(2) of the Act to ‘plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild’ any plant listed in Schedule 9, Part II.  All parts of the plant and any soil contaminated with the rhizome are classified as controlled waste and are required legally to be removed and disposed of by a licensed waste control operator.

The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, controlled waste must be disposed of at a licensed (registered) landfills.

Section 34 of the EPA imposes a duty of care on persons who produce, import, dispose of, or treat controlled wastes. The movement off site of controlled waste must be covered by a waste transfer licence.

The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991

impose requirements under section 34(5) of the 1990 Act on any person who is subject to the duty of care as respects the making and retention of documents and the furnishing of copies of them.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (ASBO) 2014

The community protection notice can be used against individuals who are acting unreasonably and who persistently or continually act in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing

Under section 57 of the Act, “conduct” includes Local councils and the police (in most cases it will be the local council) will have the power to issue notices for invasive non-native species like Japanese knotweed. Act 2014 works on the key of “a failure to act”.

On summary conviction, an individual would be liable to a level 4 fine. An organisation, such as a company, is liable to a fine not exceeding £20,000

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