UK approach to Japanese knotweed ‘overly cautious’

The current approach to Japanese knotweed is ‘overly cautious’ and more academic research is needed into its effects on the built environment, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

In concluding its inquiry into the invasive species, the Science and Technology Committee  published a report yesterday which found that the presence of Japanese knotweed can have a “chilling” effect on the sale of a property but that the physical damage to property from Japanese knotweed is no greater than other disruptive species not subject to the same controls.

A significant industry is built around controlling Japanese knotweed, whose underground shoots –  known as rhizomes – can damage concrete foundations of buildings, flood defences, roads, paving and retaining walls.

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