The PCA has been working alongside the RICS, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and supported by the Building Societies Association and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, to assist the companies that deal with the control of Japanese Knotweed in the UK and in doing so have developed the Invasive Weed Control Group.
This latest aspect of the PCA also coincides with the new guide from the RICS, written by Phil Parnham, that has just been published with the title Japanese Knotwood and Residential Property.
The guide – along with the development of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group to signpost consumers to professional treatment companies – now offers assurance and certainty in tackling the problem.
Stephen Hodgson, general manager of the PCA, which has its headquarters in Huntingdon, said: “For several months, the PCA has been working with sections of the Japanese Knotweed control industry to provide representation, accreditation and trade association services.
“Ultimately this work has drawn together a set of standards that will ensure consumers can identify companies – through the PCA – that have the skills, infrastructure, knowledge and integrity to eliminate this troublesome weed properly and cost-effectively.
“Our role as an established trade body, with a reputation for high standards, ensures a recognised and effective route for the delivery of this work.“The control of invasive species, such as Japanese Knotweed, also complements the Association’s existing areas of expertise.”
Professor Max Wade, director of Ecology at RPS Planning and Development, has chaired the Japanese Knotweed Working Group, which has led to the development of the PCA Invasive Weed Control Group.
Professor Wade said: “The working group set out to understand lender requirements, support RICS in producing an Information Paper for surveyors and establish the PCA as the trade body for the industry, with the necessary standards and skills in place to offer assurance with respect to the completion of treatments.
“We also set out to communicate the fact that Japanese Knotweed has an inflated reputation. It is just a plant. There are other plants that can cause significantly more damage to properties, such as sycamore trees for example. The problem can be dealt with, and now there is a recognised framework to remedy it.”
Philip Santo, Professional Practice Consultant, RICS Residential Professional Group, represented RICS on the Japanese Knotweed Working Group and facilitated the RICS Information Paper. He said: “What we can do now is promote certainty. We have standardisation, consistency and best practice standards in the treatment industry.”