Property owner fined £18000 for failing to get rid of Japanese knotweed in the garden
- January 4, 2019
- By Admin: Frovenses
On December 6, 2018, BBC reported that Bristol city has taken action against a property owner MB Estates limited for allowing an invasive plant to grow in their premises at Horfield. It said that Property owner fined £18000 for failing to get rid of Japanese knotweed in the garden. The council claimed that it was acting on behalf of the owners of seven properties in the vicinity who claimed that they were affected by the knot weed plant, which they claim grows through the foundations. BBC was unable to contact the homeowner MB Estates and get their reply or their version of the story.
The main complainant Amie King had purchased her house at Ash Road in 2007. She noticed a dense growth of plants in the neighbouring house, with some of the plants approximately eight feet in height. When she was purchasing the property, these plants were not mentioned in the survey of her house as a potential cause of problems. Using the search engine google, they were able to get more information about the plant, and found out that it was a major problem the plant could be. She said that she had found photos of the plant growing through the floorboard in some people’s house.
However, Ms King, others in the area and the council could not initiate any legal action against the property owner for many years. The Anti-Social behaviour, Crime & Policing act of 2014 was used by the council to initiate legal action. MB Estates had received a community protection notice in 2017 regarding the growth of Japanese knot-weed in their property, however they had allegedly ignored it and not replied to the notice. Hence, the home owner was prosecuted at the court of the Bristol Magistrate regarding the Japanese knot-weed.
However, MB Estates did not appear for the court hearing and also did not reply to the council notice regarding plant growth. It is believed that it is the first time, that the law has been used in this manner, for getting rid of Japanese knot-weed. The original complainant Amie King was extremely happy with the result which the council got on her behalf. She said that she and other property owners were encouraged by the fact that the council had prosecuted the property owner on their behalf. She was also extremely happy with the judgement which involved a fine of £18000.
In addition to the fine, the property owner MB Estates was also told to pay the costs involved in the court case which was initiated against it for the growth of knot weed on the property by the city council of Bristol. The property owner has been given 28 days to comply with the provisions of the court order.