Seven Clumps Of Japanese Knotweed On Princes Parade.

There is not one, there is not two or even three, but seven clumps of Japanese Knotweed that we have photographed so far on Princes Parade. The clumps range in size from a rug, through to the size of a double garage. And they are nicely situated across the 7 hectare site (17.29 acres).

In May we informed a prominent campaigner who has been busying themselves collecting EIR’s for the Save Princes Parade Team and began photographing them. We note as of yesterday (16th Aug 17) an eagle eyed dog walker posted a picture of one such clump to Facebook (first image). Well, here are a few more images from across the Princes Parade site, photographed between May & August 2017.

              Japanese Knotweed 1 japeneseknotweed2 knotWEED2

knotweed5 Knotweed1

Now let’s make it very clear, it may not stop the development of Princes Parade, but it will slow it down and add unforeseen costs to the project.

Japanese Knotweed is regulated by several pieces of legislation, the main being:

  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981

  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990

  • The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991

This puts a duty of care on the landowner – Shepway District Council (SDC) – with Japanese Knotweed infestations to be proactive in the control and eradication of it. Planning permission will also generally be refused without an eradication programme in place for the infestation.

Little did you know that the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 states that failure to act” i.e. property owners not controlling Japanese knotweed where it  affects the quality of life of those in the community could find themselves being served with a Community Protection Notice. Failure to comply with the Community Protection Notice could result in a criminal offence and large fines (up to £2,500 for individuals and £20,000 for organisations). SDC with an ASBO, that would be quite something, wouldn’t you agree?

We note that SDC have employed a “Spin Doctor” by the name of Edwards Harvey to promote the Princes Parade Development on Facebook. So far SDC have paid them:

EdwardsHarveyG1

Yes, £63,701 worth of spin, spin, spin paid with local taxpayers money. A prominent Campaigner has asked “how can it be right that Shepway is using council tax to pay for this propaganda? Where is the transparency? And given that they are both landowner and planning authority how can it be right that they can put something this biased in the public domain?”

We have checked on Contracts Finder, but have found no such contract awarded to Edwards Harvey. Perhaps this is one of those contracts that by passed normal procurement procedures.

Now back in February SDC are on the record when asked if there was Japanese Knotweed on Princes Parade  and what steps they had taken to eradicate it between 2006 – 2016, the response SDC gave was:

  • The council has not taken any steps to manage, control or eradicate Japanese Knotweed on Princes Parade – the plant has not occurred there during the period mentioned”  The period mentioned was 2006 – 2016.

Well, we hate to rain on SDC’s bonfire, but there are in fact seven sizeable clumps as we said early. SDC really should get out of the gym and onto the site, that way they can save themselves a few pounds in money and weight

Keep Calm

The avid FoI and EIR members of the Save Princes Parade Team have found SDC have all too often cited“Commercial confidentiality” (FoI) or Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information (EIR) as a reason for not disclosing the information necessary to assess contract content – and services, relating to Princes Parade. Responsiveness, transparency, oversight and scrutiny are key elements of healthy local democracy – by citing “confidentiality”  democracy and participation is lessened for those most directly affected. Only the tenacity, persistence and perseverance of those committed to saving Princes Parade has got us all where we are currently. All we wish to say to them is:

Keep Calm, Carry On and Thank You.

The Shepwayvox Team

Advertisements

5 Comments on Seven Clumps Of Japanese Knotweed On Princes Parade.

  1. How can SDC get away with all this deception? If they are breaking the law why are they not brought to justice?

    Like

  2. My Husband or I walk the dog very often across the Princes Parade site and have managed to find five clumps of Japanese Knotweed. Admittedly, I nor my husband have scoured the whole site, so we can well imagine there may well be more than seven, given the ease of finding the first five clumps. Why has it taken the Shepwayvox Team to find the Knotweed? Why haven’t those who profess to wish to save princes parade been out there scouring the site. It does make one wonderer as to their true intentions – which I personally believe to be nimbyism.

    Like

  3. We have found four clumps this weekend and only searched about half the site.

    Like

  4. http://www.kentonline.co.uk/hythe/news/council-plays-down-knotweed-discovery-131855/

    Finally the Kentish Express catch up with Shepwayvox…

    “The plant, discovered last week, is notoriously expensive to clear……But landowner Shepway District Council (SDC) has played down the discovery and said the east Asian plant is far enough away not to encroach on homes in the future.

    An SDC spokesman said: “A small amount of japanese knotweed has been identified in bushes on the side of a footpath that runs alongside Royal Military Canal in Seabrook, adjacent to the development site.

    “If japanese knotweed was discovered on the site itself it would be treated, and the site would be cleared before any development got underway and homes were built.

    “Therefore, there would be no issue when the time came for homes to be sold.”

    In February council officers denied japanese knotweed was growing on land at Princes Parade.

    “Alex Quaglin, sales manager at Ward and Partners Estate Agents in Folkestone, said: “If japanese knotweed has been identified on a site it is likely to return, so most mortgage lenders will refuse to lend because of the risk. The plant is a nightmare.”

    One might say that SDC are a nightmare……………

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: