The Government has reformed the The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 in a move to help in the fight against invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed.
What is the issue?
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) and other invasive non-native plants pose a serious risk to native biodiversity in the UK. These non-native species deprive native plants of vital resources such as light and nutrients, leading to damage to the environment. Some non-native species can be destructive; damaging structures and hard surfaces. Others, such as Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), exacerbate the problem of soil erosion beside watercourses because they die-off in winter and leave vast expanses of banking bare and susceptible to being washed away by high water levels.
How can the new powers be used to tackle invasive plants?
The community protection notice can be used against individuals who act act unreasonably in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the vicinity. Although the new powers are designed to be flexible, “the notice can be used to require someone to control or prevent growth of Japanese knotweed or other plants that are capable of causing serious problems to communities.”
Who is authorised to take action against offenders?
Local councils and the police will be be authorised to issue control notices for invasive weeds like Japanese knotweed.
What happens if the notice is ignored or not followed correctly?
Breach of the notice, without a reasonable excuse, would be a criminal offence.
What is punishment for breach of the notice?
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.
I’ve got Japanese knotweed, what should I do?
Contact Invasive Weeds Agency’s team of experts to find out the best treatment programme to sort your Japanese knotweed or other invasive species issue. Call us now on 01383 416 556.
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