Experts have supervised the excavation of Japanese Knotweed as vegetation has been cleared from development land at Ridgewood Farm.
The presence of the invasive weed was highlighted, with seven metre offset, on one of the exhibition boards produced by Taylor Wimpey during a consultation over their plans to build 250 homes on part of a site allocated for 1,000 homes.
Neighbours spotted trees and vegetation being cleared in the area where Japanese Knotweed was growing and feared it would be spread to adjoining properties and the rest of the development site.
But Heather Allen, land and planning manager for Taylor Wimpey South East said:
“I can confirm that we have recently completed vegetation clearance works at Uckfield, in the area of the proposed accesses on Lewes Road. The vegetation included Japanese Knotweed.
“Before these clearance works were undertaken, a Japanese Knotweed Management Plan was produced by a qualified specialist.
“The knotweed specialists supervised the initial tree clearance on site to ensure that the Japanese Knotweed material was not spread, and the knotweed was then removed by hand/excavator.
“The excavated knotweed will be temporarily stored on site, on sheeting and enclosed by orange mesh fencing. Warning signs are attached to this fencing.
“The knotweed will be safely removed from site once construction of the accesses has reached a suitable standard to allow access by a haulage lorry.
“This approach is in accordance with the PCA IWCG knotweed guidance and the former Environment Agency knotweed guidance.
“The Japanese Knotweed specialist will be carrying out a herbicide spraying programme for the site, which will only stop after there have been two years of no regrowth.”
A spokesperson for Wealden Council said: “We have agreed a schedule of works at the site including measures to clear the knotweed following normal procedures. These should ensure the knotweed is not spread. We will be monitoring the development as it proceeds.”
Read more about the first 250 homes to be built on Ridgewood Farm here: Permission given for first 250 of 1000 homes to be built at Ridgewood.