Court orders Transport for Wales to pay Pontypridd Homeowner nearly £10k over Japanese knotweed claim

Court orders Transport for Wales to pay Pontypridd Homeowner nearly £10k over Japanese knotweed claim

A Pontypridd homeowner has been awarded nearly £10,000 in damages against Transport for Wales (TFW) after his home was damaged by Japanese knotweed growing alongside a nearby railway.

Law firm Angelus Law said Richard Pember purchased the property 11 years ago and its value had been diminished by the invasive plant.

Records aired in court indicated that TFW failed to adequately treat the growth which led to the eventual intrusion onto Mr Pember’s property. Pontypridd County Court granted damages to be paid by TFW.

Mr Pember said: “Transport for Wales knew about the Japanese knotweed for a long time, and they should have carried on treating it, but now it is taking over the entire area.”

Tom Hardwick, a director at Angelus Law, commented: “The victory showcases the importance of holding responsible parties accountable for their obligations to prevent the spread of such destructive plants.

“The damages awarded not only reflect the tangible losses suffered by homeowners like our client but also send a strong message about the necessity of proactive measures in tackling invasive species.”

TFW disputed the court’s findings but said it had resolved not to appeal.

A spokesperson said: “TfW is naturally disappointed with this court result given the facts as presented to the court.

“TfW has categorically not failed in treating the Japanese knotweed on its land and has a thorough and effective treatment programme in place across the whole of the Core Valley Lines network where this property neighbours.

In this instance, the court found for the claimant on the tenuous basis of a single missing documentary record.

Neither TfW nor [previous owner] Network Rail accepts that a treatment itself was missed. An appeal was considered but on this occasion was not pursued.”

The Core Valley Lines is a network of local train services radiating from Cardiff into the Valleys area.

Mark Smulian

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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