Fears over ‘danger weed’ creeping closer to village homes

Mark Radford with some of the Japanese knotweed growing near his home SUS-170106-153954001
Mark Radford with some of the Japanese knotweed growing near his home SUS-170106-153954001

Fears are being raised over a powerful invasive plant whose roots are known to damage houses and roads.

People living in Storrington are worried that the fast-growing plant - Japanese knotweed - is encroaching nearer to their homes.

Mark Radford, who lives in Sandy Lane, said: “It is clearly something to worry about.” And he called on Horsham District Council to take action.

Meanwhile, fellow resident Alan Murray said that Washington Parish Council was now urging villagers to report any signs of further infestation.

The weed is growing near a Barratt homes development and the company says it is treating the problem. Barratt southern counties technical director John Cover said: “We are aware of the existence of a small area of Japanese knotweed on the northern boundary of the public open space to the rear of our Millford Grange development.

“In accordance with the regulatory requirements, we have employed specialist licenced treatment company, Japanese Knotweed Ltd, to carry out treatment to eradicate the plants.

“The area affected is being chemically treated over a five year period which includes spraying the weed regularly for three years and closely monitoring for a further two years.

“This is an approved Environment Agency method of eradication and the work will continue until it shows no sign of growing back.

“Japanese Knotweed is controlled under Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Environmental Protection Act.”

Meanwhile, Horsham District Council, said that it is the landowner’s responsibility to control the weed.

A spokeswoman said: “On land which is owned by Horsham District Council the council has a comprehensive plan for treating all outbreaks of Japanese knotweed. However, none of the areas around Washington Road and Sandy Lane, Storrington are owned by the council.

“It is recommended that the residents contact the landowner in question with a view to treating the knotweed.”

The council provides advice at: https://www.horsham.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/8914/Invasive-Weed-Control-Leaflet.pdf