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Nuisance and trespass.

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Japanese Knotweed

Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd
[2017] County Court (Unreported)


The presence of Japanese Knotweed on the Defendant’s property was an actionable nuisance as it interfered with the quiet enjoyment of land.


The claimants (C1 and C2) owned neighbouring residential properties, which adjoined a railway embankment. The properties had no back garden and the rear wall of each abutted an access path belonging to Network Rail. On the path there was a large stand of Japanese Knotweed which had been present for at least 50 years. (Japanese Knotweed, as a pernicious weed, has the potential to spread underground through its roots or rhizomes (underground stems).) Both claimants alleged that the knotweed had encroached upon their land (along the foundations) and caused damage. Although there was no direct evidence of roots or rhizomes growing along the foundation of C1’s bungalow he relied on the evidence of C2 which showed lateral growth.

The claimants’ case was that because of the presence of the knotweed in the vicinity of their buildings, a surveyor would classify it as Category IV risk as soil containing any roots or rhizomes is classed as controlled waste under the Environmental Protection act 1990. Further few, if any, of the mainstream residential lenders would accept the properties as security. As such, there was a limited pool of potential purchasers and a reduction in the market value of the bungalows. Both experts believed that there would be a residual diminution in the value of the properties even after the knotweed was treated because of the approach of the lenders.

Network Rail had been aware of the knotweed in the locality since 2008 as part of its track inspection regime and had been controlling the weeds so far ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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