LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR HOMEOWNERS
Today, a court of appeal has unanimously dismissed an appeal from Network Rail, resulting in compensation and diminution in value penalties being owed by Network Rail to 2 home owners, due to Japanese knotweed.
In a decision that could have more broad implications for landowners across England and Wales, 3 judges decided in support for two home owners whose properties had been impacted by Japanese Knotweed. (please see Knotweed Services story on the original ruling back in February 2017 https://www.knotweedservices.co.uk/landmark-japanese-knotweed-court-case-network-rail-successful/ )
Stephen Williams and Robin Waistell, who own two adjoining homes in Llwydarth Road, Maesteg, South Wales, made a claim against Network Rail, which owns the land promptly behind their properties.
Mr Waistell tried to sell his property in 2013 and was heard in court regarding the Knotweed attack in November 2016. The fruitful judgement didn’t happen until February 2017, however Network Rail appealed, and TODAY, on the 3rd of July 2018, 3 leading judges dismissed the appeal.
A lawyer at Charles Lyndon, Rodger Burnett, who has represented Mr Waistell since 2014, contended that Network Rail weren’t right in law. The interest was heard in the Court of Appeal toward the start of June 2018 and counsel for Mr Waistell, Mr Stephen Tromans QC, contended that the judge at first occurrence had taken excessively too narrow of a perspective of what constituted physical harm.
The Court of Appeal has decided that the mere presence of Knotweed in a bordering property isn’t in itself a noteworthy nuisance, except if it undermines to, encroach or has encroached already. When there is evidence that the Knotweed has encroached, this will straight away add up to physical damage and a noteworthy nuisance which implies a neighbouring property owner will be expected pay for the cost of treatment and the effect on the diminution of value of their property.
Rodger Burnett (Lawyer from Charles Lyndon) said that the decision has been an extraordinary outcome for Mr Waistell and all property holders around the nation.
‘For a really long-time landowners like Network Rail have paid inadequate respect to the effect that their inability to sufficiently treat Japanese knotweed has had on connecting properties’. He continued
‘associations like Network Rail will now consider their obligations important and expel the knotweed on their properties’.
So what does this mean for the general public???
As a homeowner/landowner you are legally responsible for Japanese Knotweed on your land; and as this case clearly demonstrates, you now have no option but to deal with the JKW infestation and ensure that a management plan is put in place by a PCA approved Japanese Knotweed Specialist.
Knotweed Services (UK) Ltd are the UKs Japanese Knotweed Specialists- providing surveys, herbicide treatment plans/ excavation and removal packages.
If you are unsure you have JKW, please send us pictures and we can identify for free.
Please call 0121 725 6348 / 07961777164 or FREEPHONE 0800 689 4146