Why MPs believe the Japanese knotweed threat is being overplayed

An inquiry has found that the effects of Japanese knotweed have been exaggerated and are unduly hindering property sales and undermining their value. Conor McGlone investigates

A Science and Technology Committee report, published this week, has found the risk of damage from Japanese knotweed is being overplayed by mortgage lenders.

It found that lenders in other countries do not treat the plant with the same degree of caution and cited the watershed case of Network Rail last year, which had to pay £31,000 in damages to the owners of the two properties in Wales, whose land backed onto a railway line riddled with knotweed.The committeeheard this had made it difficult for landowners with property adjacent to contaminated land to sell their properties.

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