UK trade body the Property Care Association (PCA) has launched a new group – dedicated to the removal and control of Japanese Knotweed.
The PCA has been working with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) - supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and The Building Societies Association - together with Japanese Knotweed control companies that currently operate within the UK, to develop the Invasive Weed Control Group.
This new aspect of the Association coincides with the publication of new guidance from RICS entitled Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property, authored by Phil Parnham.
The guidance - 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.”
Further information is available at www.property-care.org where a list of professional Japanese Knotweed control contractors is available.
Representing the UK’s structural waterproofing, wood preservation, damp-proofing, flood remediation, invasive weed control and structural repair sectors, the PCA incorporates the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association (BWPDA), which has been in existence for more than 80 years.
The PCA is also a member of TrustMark, the scheme supported by Government, to help property owners find reliable and trustworthy tradespeople to make home improvements.
Its contractor members are all carefully vetted before being awarded membership, and are then subject to rigorous auditing procedures once admitted to the Association.
As well as delivering a trusted repair procedure, PCA members are able to carry out specialist surveys as part of the house-buying procedure to identify potential problems – as well as a range of other services designed to preserve and protect homes and buildings across the UK.
Press release issued by Jane Shepherd, Shepherd PR Limited, 01538 308685, 07985 129315
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