Weeding out threat to homes

12-09-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Kirkintilloch. Industry Street flat. Gail McKinney next to Japanese knotweed.
12-09-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Kirkintilloch. Industry Street flat. Gail McKinney next to Japanese knotweed.

Gail McKinney was horrified to learn her property was at risk of an invasive plant which can damage the structure of buildings.

The Japanese knotweed was growing on an embankment behind her garden in Industry Street, Kirkintilloch.

But worse was to follow when she discovered no one would take responsibility for the piece of wasteground 
beside the new Kirkintilloch Link Road.

The road is in the process of being formally adopted by East Dunbartonshire Council. Currently its maintenance is the responsibility of Kirkintilloch Link Road Management Board – made up of representatives from a number of organisations including the council, NHS and the consortium of builders from the nearby Woodilee Village housing development.

Despite numerous calls to East Dunbartonshire Council and a visit from Doug Riddell of the Woodilee Consortium, who she said, assured her he would get back to her within a few days, Gail said she was being given the “run-around.”

She appealed to the Herald for help and added: “ It is an absolute disgrace. I am suffering financially because nobody is taking responsibility for this problem which was identified over a year ago. I cannot sell my property and nobody else in the area can until this situation is resolved.”

The Herald contacted East Dunbartonshire Council. and Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services said she sympathied but added: The council does not own the land, it falls within the boundary of the KLR (Kirkintilloch Link Road).

“We have passed the 
resident’s details to the KLR consortium to action.”

The Herald also got in touch with Mr Riddell, who assured us the consortium would eradicate the plant.

He said: “We will start spraying the plant in the next three or four weeks and treat it for the next three years.”

Gail thanked the Herald and said: “I really think the Herald’s intervention helped. At least responsibility has now been taken.”

According to a UK government website, individuals and organisations can face prosecution for causing a private nuisance if they allow 
Japanese knotweed to grow onto other people’s property.