Couple win dispute with neighbour over knotweed

A couple have won a dispute with their neighbour after Japanese knotweed invaded their garden, knocking £50,000 off the value of their property.

Adam and Eleanor Smith had bought their Cornwall home for £200,000 in 2002 from Rosemary Line.

Mrs Line’s kept some of the neighbouring land, which had Japanese knotweed growing on it. The plant, which can damage building foundations, later spread on to the Smith’s driveway.

They spent over a decade asking Mrs Line to sort out the problem, but little was done.

They say their property should now be worth £500,000 but the knotweed on the driveway has devalued it by 10%, leaving the Smith’s £50,000 worse off.

They took the dispute to court, but Mrs Line blamed the Smiths for the spread of the knotweed.

She said that she had taken steps to deal with the problem. However, satellite images taken over several years showed the weed had spread.

The court ruled in favour of the Smiths. It held that while it wasn’t illegal to grow Japanese knotweed, it was illegal to allow it to spread.

Mrs Line was ordered to eradicate the weed over the next five years and to pay court costs.

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