The latest government statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government show residential planning approvals at their highest levels in a decade and a whopping 44% of these (186,400 in the year ending March 2014) for householder developments.
It is clear that there are a significant number of people improving, altering and expanding their current dwellings – a trend which is likely to increase, as evidence from RICS' August Residential Market Survey suggests that the housing market is softening.
The difficulty of raising mortgage finance on property or land that has Japanese knotweed present on or adjacent to it has been well covered in the media, and with official records stating Japanese knotweed is now so prevalent in the UK that there is not a single six-mile square patch where it is not present – the Orkneys excepted – it is likely that a high number of successful planning applications will come up against the problem of Japanese knotweed when they come to build. Whether the plant originates on your land or encroaches from a neighbour, development cannot proceed until it is dealt with effectively.
For years now, Japanese knotweed treatments in residential situations have largely been carried out between April and October, simply because the industry has relied upon herbicide treatments which require the plant to be in leaf. This has meant that many minor development projects, home extensions and renovations have traditionally been put on hold until the plant can be treated effectively during the growing months. But, with Environet's unique resi dig-out™ solution, you can be guaranteed to be Japanese knotweed free in a matter of days, at any time of the year and your building projects can be completed over the winter months in readiness for you to enjoy when the better weather arrives. As well as being available twelve months of the year, it is also the most environmentally friendly solution available and costs significantly less than traditional dig and dump which would be the only alternative during the winter months.
In most areas of the UK, the plant's pretty white flowers have now faded and before long the leaves will fall and the stems, although still standing, will appear dark brown and dead looking. Don't be fooled. The rhizome system beneath the ground is alive and well, just waiting for new shoots to re-emerge next year: bigger and stronger. Nic Seal, managing director of leading and longest running Japanese knotweed eradication specialist, Environet says: "Many of our clients are keen to improve their properties either for themselves or ready for selling, but having discovered Japanese knotweed on the property they have no choice but to delay plans until the plant is eradicated. The good news now is that they don't have to wait until the spring to proceed.
"Following on from the huge success of our unique patented Xtract™ method, which has been used in large commercial situations for several years now, we have developed an on-site solution that is suitable for almost all residential settings. Called resi dig-out™, it is ideal where rapid and complete eradication is necessary. Like our Xtract™ method, it removes all viable rhizome from infected soil, allowing the soil to be reused on site reducing haulage and waste to landfill by 98% and lowering the financial costs too. It causes far less disruption than dig and dump and uses no chemicals."
The eradication work that Environet carries out every day on behalf of their clients is fully guaranteed and underwritten by the world renowned insurers Lloyd's of London. No one else in the market has that, and it is testament to their methods.
With growing speculation regarding the timing of the first Bank Rate rise and increased rhetoric from policymakers regarding potential risks in the housing market having an impact on buyer confidence, making improvements to one's current dwelling remains an attractive option for many.
Environet is a recognised leading UK firm in the fight against Japanese knotweed, having been featured several times on BBC, ITV, radio and in national newspapers.
Environet regularly advises RICS, the NAEA and ARMA and works with major house builders, managing agents and private land owners. All work is fully covered by insurance backed guarantees underwritten by Lloyd's of London.