Japanese Knotweed – Understand the risks with the new GroundSure Screening report from PSG

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8 May 2014

The effects of the plant known as Japanese Knotweed on property are well known amongst conveyancers and surveyors. It can impact on the saleability of a property and its presence can influence a lenders decision even if the plant is seemingly well away from the boundary. It is difficult to eradicate and its complicated root structures can reach far beyond what is visible to the naked eye. It is of particular concern to commercial property owners.

What is Japanese Knotweed?

This highly invasive plant has long been known for its notorious ability to grow through concrete and tarmac, exploiting weaknesses in structures and potentially growing through walls, floors and even roads. Brought to the UK by the Victorians it was able to thrive away from its natural predators in native Japan and now, according to official records, there is not a single 6 mile square patch of the country where it is not present.

Why does it matter?

This extremely destructive plant species is classed as a ’controlled waste’ under Part 2 of the Environmental protection Act 1990, it can only be disposed of at licensed landfill sites as even small cuttings can grow into new root systems. Japanese Knotweed can have dramatic impacts on property asset values and suitability as lending security, it can be successfully treated with herbicides but to completely eradicate a crop can take many years and is costly. It is important to understand the risk ahead of the valuation of a property.

What can you do?

The only comprehensive method is for a surveyor, with specialist Japanese Knotweed expertise, to undertake a site inspection.  However, to support your initial investigations of the property for your client, PSG has added the new screening report to its already comprehensive range of environmental products. The GroundSure Japanese Knotweed report for commercial properties is designed for surveyors, developers and conveyancers and will highlight the lending risks and potential management costs ahead of proceeding to purchase.

The key benefits of the report include:

  • The only cost-effective way to understand knotweed risk ahead of the valuation
  • Access to unique data insight and expertise
  • A more informed decision for you and your client
  • A more accurate survey and property valuation
  • Identifies possible nuisance impacts to and from neighbouring property
  • Ongoing support from leading treatment experts – a key requirement for many lending decisions

For more information about the GroundSure Japanese Knotweed Report, contact your local PSG office or visit our Products page, here.

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