Construction Law Reporter


[2024] UKSC 15, UK Supreme Court, Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens and Lady Simler, 8 May 2024

Private nuisance – Japanese knotweed – Claim for diminution in value – Factual causation

The claimant homeowner brought a claim in private nuisance against the defendant borough council. The claimant had bought the house in 2004 for investment purposes and then rented it out. Japanese knotweed was found to be growing on the defendant's land, which was adjacent to the claimant's home, and it encroached on to the claimant’s land at some point "well before 2004". An actionable private nuisance was held to have arisen in 2013 when the defendant was found to have been aware, or it ought to have been aware, of the risks of damage and loss of amenity to the claimant's land as a result of publicly available information about Japanese knotweed at the time and it failed to implement a reasonable and effective treatment programme in respect of that Japanese knotweed. The defendant did, however, implement such a scheme from 2018 but it was found in the courts below that the defendant was in continuing breach of its duty between 2013 and 2018. In the Supreme Court, there was no challenge to the finding that there had been a continuing nuisance between 2013 and 2018.

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