Residents of Tuam Road and Chelsworth Drive in Plumstead petitioned Parliament last night regarding the problem of Japanese Knotweed growing on vacant land behind their homes.
Japanese Knotweed is an extremely invasive plant that can damage property. There are strict regulations governing the control and disposal of the plant. These regulations are clear when the owner of the land can be identified, but not when the land is vacant and there is no owner. In these circumstances the land is classified as Bona Vacantia and falls to the Crown, but the Crown cannot accept responsibility in these circumstances.
Eltham and Plumstead MP Clive Efford, who presented the petition to Parliament, pointed out that, “this means that despite this plant being capable of causing extreme damage to the surrounding properties nothing is done to remove it. Meanwhile it is left to propagate and spread itself around a very wide area. This issue can no longer be ignored and something must be done for these residents.
Clive Efford MP presented their petition demanding that the government acts to deal with the problem last night.
He told the House “This petition of residents of Chelsworth Drive and Tuam Road in the London Borough of Greenwich highlights the growing problem of Japanese Knotweed.
Responsibility for clearing the infestation where it appears is clearly set out in statute and law, but this is not the case when the land is Bona Vacantia.
No one has a legal duty to deal with the problem despite the threat to neighbouring properties – creating a problem for people living in those properties
This problem has existed for these residents for years.
The petitioners request that this House enacts legislation or statutory instruments that will identify an authority, or body, responsible for the clearance of Japanese Knotweed and provide powers for the House of Commons to enforce such clearance when necessary.”
The picture to the right shows Clive being presented with the petition by members of the Chelsworth Drive Residents’ Association.