Residents call for help over Japanese knotweed in Rushden

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed

1
Have your say

Residents are calling for more help to deal with the problem of Japanese knotweed growing near their homes.

Katie Jones said the plant has been a problem in the Glassbrook Road area of Rushden for several years, but no-one is willing to help them tackle the issue.

Numerous phonecalls to authorities which she thought may be able to help have failed to resolve the issue.

She has been told as it is growing on private land, it is the responsibility of the landowner.

Katie said: “This is something that’s affecting our community.

“It’s affecting people selling their houses and buying houses.

“It’s working it’s way down the street.

“This is going to spread and only going to get worse.”

She has spoken to a solicitor and was told it was a civil matter, which could cost up to £4,000 to pursue.

But she said people don’t have that sort of money to do this.

She added that her complaint is not to do with her neighbours, but the lack of support for people trying to get rid of the weed.

It is recommended that Japanese knotweed is dealt with by a professional company, but Katie said this can be costly.

She said: “It is not in my garden but I have been going out in my garden each day to check I don’t have any shoots.

“I have had three estate agents come round and say that my house is unsellable and unmortgageable.

“I just think it’s terrible that no-one will help with this.

“People don’t get involved and the only way that you can deal with it is to take your neighbours to court, but I don’t want to take my neighbours to court.”

The Northants Telegraph contacted East Northamptonshire Council and a spokesman said they had been made aware that leaflets stating that Japanese knotweed was growing in the Glassbrook Road area and posed a public health risk had been distributed.

The council has since sent out correct information to residents, issuing advice on dealing with it and stating that there is no health risk from the plants.

A spokesman for the council said: “We were informed last week that a leaflet drop about Japanese knotweed had taken place in the Glassbrook Road area which indicated that it is present in that area and is a public health risk.

“We can assure residents that Japanese knotweed is not a public health issue and we have issued information to residents correcting this.

“Anyone concerned about Japanese knotweed and its effects is advised to look on this website - https://www.gov.uk/prevent-the-spread-of-harmful-invasive-and-non-native-plants

“The removal of Japanese knotweed from private land is the responsibility of the landowner.”

Further information is available on the council’s website at http://www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/japaneseknotweed.

The spokesman added that its environmental protection team would be happy to direct people to good advice if they need it.

The council has advised that anyone wanting to find an approved contractor to remove Japanese knotweed can visit www.property-care.org, call the PCA on 0844 3754301 or email pca@property-care.org.