Bridgend land owner loses Japanese knotweed pay-out

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court concluded the council did not have to pay damages to Marc Davies [Getty]

A man will now longer get a pay-out after Japanese knotweed infested his property from local authority land.

Marc Davies initially won his legal case at the Court of Appeal, with Bridgend council being ordered to pay him £4,900 in damages.

If left untreated, Japanese knotweed can cause structural damage to a property and its presence alone can severely impact value.

The local authority appealed to the Supreme Court and won, as it ruled the plant had been present for a long time and damage was unavoidable.

Marc Davies had bought his home in Dinam Street, Nant-y-Moel, in 2004.

According to the court, it was accepted that Japanese knotweed had already spread onto the property from council-owned land next door long before he raised it in 2019.

The Supreme Court found that, while Bridgend council had failed to treat the problem quickly, Japanese knotweed had already been present for many years and the impact on the value of the claimant’s property was unavoidable.

In its written judgement on the case, Lord Justice Stephens said Bridgend council had failed to undertake a treatment programme to tackle the knotweed until 2018.

Although Japanese knotweed cannot be eradicated entirely, effective treatment can significantly reduce the damage it is able to cause.

Lord Justice Stephens concluded the impact of the knotweed on the value of Mr Davies’ property would not have been avoided, even if the work had been carried out sooner.

He added that the plant was already present on the land before 2013, and so the loss in value was natural.

Additional reporting by Rowenna Hoskin.