Response to Science & Technology Select Committee Inquiry into Japanese Knotweed and the Built Environment

Today (15 May 2019), the Science & Technology Select Committee published its findings following its January 2019 Inquiry into Japanese knotweed and its impact on the built environment.

It concluded that the current approach to Japanese knotweed is ‘overly cautious’ and more academic research is needed into its effects in the built environment.”

It recommended that Defra commission a study of international approaches to Japanese knotweed in the context of property sales to further inform discussions on the issue, and report by the end of the year.

Nic Seal, Founder and MD of Environet, said:

“Lenders are right to be cautious when it comes to lending on properties affected by Japanese knotweed, bearing in mind the damage the plant can cause and the difficulty entailed in killing or removing it.

“Personally, I think most lenders have their policies about right, although I’d agree the 7m rule is a somewhat blunt measure that could be improved. If the plant is in a location that is judged to threaten the property, or that of the neighbours, then it should be professionally treated, preferably with a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee.

“The UK is probably the worst affected country; we’re not aware of any other country putting restrictions on mortgages due to knotweed, but that is why their knotweed industries are non-existent or in their infancy. The UK is considered to lead the world in knotweed eradication. More public money for DEFRA research? I’m not convinced it’s necessary, instead let’s continue to lead the fight against knotweed to protect home-owners and lenders from this aggressive and destructive plant.”


Kindly shared by Environet