PLANS FOR 120-HOME DEVELOPMENT IN LOWTON AFTER KNOTWEED REMOVAL

Once our busy professional lives squeeze blood and energy out of us all day, we return to our homes to get relaxed. We take rest and become fresh for our family life. However, have you ever thought, when you reach home, you get caught by another problem, the home itself? Yes, knotweed in your home garden can be that nuisance, which may turn your relaxed life into a continuous trouble.

A plan was submitted to the committee of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council for the building of homes in the north of Bainbridge Avenue, Lowton. Lowton is a suburban village of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, England. The site has two ponds which dry up seasonally. They will be replaced by three permanent ponds designed not to lose water.

The major concern regarding the development of this site for building homes is the presence of a hazardous plant, Japanese knotweed. This invasive weed has been found to destroy foundations and crack the buildings. Its root system is so extensive that it can penetrate about three meters deep and seven meters in all the directions in the ground. It has been responsible for home repairs, uprooting, and weedicide application services, which cost about £170 million every year.

The cases can be as severe as, a weedicide company found the only solution to kill the weed by demolishing the entire building structure. Ordinary knotweed removal service may not be sufficient for the construction of newly planned homes in Lowton, as its creeping underground stems regrow in the summer every year. Complete eradication needs deep digging and injection of powerful weedicides, which itself poses a hazardous environmental threat. If uprooting of the weed was not done carefully, then the new property owners can face serious problems in lending or selling their properties, as lenders usually turn away the options to live in the home whose gardens were invaded by Japanese knotweed. In addition, the owners, who will buy these homes, will have to fill in a form “TA6”, if they wanted to sell their properties so that their customers be aware whether their properties were affected by Knotweed or not.

Already a lot of homeowners and developers have suffered significant monetary losses due to losing deals because this weed has become a real nuisance. Legal actions become very difficult once the weed occupies the home, as neither developer nor the property seller owns the negligence. Only the companies well reputed for knotweed removal should be hired before the development of homes on this site, so that complete eradication and future prevention can be ensured, because once the buildings are constructed, the removal costs can be as high as £2,000, as the weedicide application needs more digging, spraying, and more injection. Especially, if it is near watercourses or other expensive plants, then it becomes extremely unsuitable to apply chemical weedicides due to environmental hazards and loss of investment.

In conclusion, developing new locations in Lowton is important, so that more people can get their own homes. However, developing homes in knotweed affected location can be particularly problematic. The plan to build new homes in Lowton needs careful reassessment, as the land has the presence of Japanese knotweed. Homes should not be built until some renowned Japanese knotweed removal companies ensure that the site is clear from the invasive weed.