Failure to use a licensed operative such as Japanese Knotweed Specialists could leave you liable to prosecution should you be in breach of the following:
Legalisation and Code of Practices currently covering Japanese Knotweed
Code of Practices:
1. EA Knotweed Code of Practice (Managing Knotweed on Development Sites)
2. PCA code of practice for the management of Japanese Knotweed
2. RICS professional guidance on Japanese Knotweed and residential property
1. Invasive Weed ASBO: The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of Anti-Social Behavior Powers for Japanese Knotweed and other invasive weeds.
A fixed penalty notice (fine of £100) or prosecution are possible outcomes. If convicted, an individual would face a level 4 fine (£2,500). An organisation, such as a company, would face a fine not exceeding £20,000.
2. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Section 14(2) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 states
“If any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in part 2 of schedule 9, he shall be guilty of offence.”
Japanese Knotweed is listed in this schedule and included within this legislation. Anyone convicted under section 14 of this act is liable to a fine of £5000 and/or 6 months imprisonment, or 2 years and/or an unlimited fine on indictment.
3. The Environment Protection Act 1990
This extensive legislation covers all areas of ‘controlled waste’ which includes Japanese Knotweed soil and plant material. Failure to follow the guidelines set out by this legislation, including not having the correct licences to treat Japanese Knotweed, can lead to prosecution.
4. Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
Although Japanese Knotweed is not covered by this legislation specifically, when certain residual herbicides are used, it then becomes hazardous and falls under this legislation. Failure to abide by this legislation will lead to prosecution.
5. Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
This act states that waste is recovered and disposed of
“without endangering human health and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment and in particular risk to water, soil, plants or animals or cause nuisance through noise, or odours or adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.“