Homeowners win fight against Network Rail over Japanese knotweed

Invasive plant caused damage to homes which saw their value halved

Updated: 
Japenese Knotweed

A homeowner in South East Wales is set to receive a large payout from Network Rail after his bungalow was towered over by Japanese knotweed on a railway line.

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Robin Waistell said he was unable to sell his house in the town of Maesteg as the rail company ignored requests to tackle the invasive plant.

The Daily Mail reports that Waistell, along with his neighbour Stephen Williams, saw the value of their homes halved after the weed spread into the foundations.

As lenders will not give mortgages on properties affected by knotweed, they struggled to sell their homes.

The BBC reports that Network Rail could face legal costs running into six figures after losing the case.

After a four-day hearing, the rail giant was ordered to pay £4,320 to the men to treat the knotweed and £10,000 each in compensation for the fall in value of their properties.

The judge added that if the knotweed was not treated, they could claim for the full drop in value.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Mr Waistell said: "I know there are so many people on the railway lines, and the road ways, they just seem to accept that it (Japanese knotweed) is there. But there is a lot of help if they decide to look for it. It is a horrible, horrible plant."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "We are aware of the outcome in this case and we are currently reviewing the judgement in detail."

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