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Land owner wins Japanese knotweed blight fight with Welsh council

03 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Japanese Knotweed plant. Photo GBNNSS

A land owner has won a damages fight after complaining about Japanese knotweed encroaching from neighbouring land.

Court of Appeal judges ruled that Marc Davies is entitled to damages because a house he owns in Bridgend, South Wales, has been blighted.

Mr Davies has been involved in litigation with Bridgend County Borough Council, which owns a neighbouring lane, and had lost arguments in lower courts.

But on Friday, Lord Justice Baker, Lord Justice Birss, and Lord Justice Snowden upheld an appeal after considering legal arguments at a recent Court of Appeal hearing in London.

The appeal judges explained that Mr Davies would get £4,900 damages for the “residual” diminution in value – or “blight” – of his property.

They said the legal “principle” was important, given the “number of knotweed cases”.

“This case is about the role played by diminution in value in cases of nuisance involving the plant Japanese knotweed,” said Lord Justice Birss in a written ruling.

“The appellant Mr Davies owns a property.

“It adjoins land owned by the local council, the respondent.

“There is knotweed growing on the respondent’s land.

“The knotweed encroached from the respondent’s land into the appellant’s land.”

Judges said Mr Davies had become concerned about knotweed in 2017 and raised it with the council in 2019.

They said he had brought a “claim in nuisance” against the council which had been considered by a county court judge in Swansea.

Lord Justice Birss said £4,900 was a “fair figure” for the “residual diminution in value” in Mr Davies’ case.

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