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Weeds on my land...legal warning & effect on valuation


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Around 12 years ago I bought a small plot of land in Wiltshire.

I bought the land from a company called Gladwish Land Sales.

 

I have renently been informed by Gladwish Land Sales that I must clear my land of weeds otherwise I will go to prison.

 

Being financially unable to clear the weeds as the land is many miles from my home and living on a very small pension,

I assume I will soon be in prison.

 

When I bought the land I never realised that I would become such a danger to the public that I may end up in prison.

 

Should this happen it will cost the tax payer around £600 per week to keep me in prison even though I pose no danger to anyone.

 

Has the law in this country gone bonkers I ask myself.

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I must clear my land of weeds otherwise I will go to prison.

 

Which law is that based on?

 

Andy

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what kind of weed is this?

 

i am assuming it is japanese knotweed - in which case it is upto 2 years in prison! :???:

 

more info on this link: http://www.japaneseknotweedremoval.co.uk/japanese-knotweed-legislation-uk.html

 

You ask yourself if the law in this country has gone bonkers...

 

 

I would like to think that the law is there to protect people, but after reading some threads on CAG it could be seen to be bonkers.

 

If this weed is not Japanese Knotweed, then what is it?

 

 

Can you give more info as to what the weed actually is?

(I trust it is not marijuana weed!)

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I must clear my land of weeds otherwise I will go to prison.

 

Which law is that based on?

 

Andy

 

a few different pieces of legislation, here: http://www.japaneseknotweedremoval.co.uk/japanese-knotweed-legislation-uk.html

 

if it is japanese knotweed, then it is classed as controlled waste, that probably means higher costs to dispose of it

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i am almost sure that the ragwort also needs controlled waste disposal. probably they all require this.

 

sorry i can't be of any help to you.

 

you could look at maybe claiming the cost of removal from owners of neighboring land

if you can prove that their land was responsible for causing your land to have the weeds

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Defra issued this warning to Gladwish Land Sales who passed it onto me.

 

Formal enforcement under the weeds act will follow if I fail to kill the weeds.

 

Recently Gladwish told me that I will go to prison if I fail to comply.

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

 

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

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Around 12 years ago I bought a small plot of land in Wiltshire.

I bought the land from a company called Gladwish Land Sales.

 

I have renently been informed by Gladwish Land Sales that I must clear my land of weeds otherwise I will go to prison.

 

Being financially unable to clear the weeds as the land is many miles from my home and living on a very small pension,

I assume I will soon be in prison.

 

When I bought the land I never realised that I would become such a danger to the public that I may end up in prison.

 

Should this happen it will cost the tax payer around £600 per week to keep me in prison even though I pose no danger to anyone.

 

Has the law in this country gone bonkers I ask myself.

 

"Being financially unable to clear the weeds as the land is many miles from my home and living on a very small pension,

I assume I will soon be in prison."

 

Having identified 2 possible solutions (clear the weeds yourself, pay someone else to do so), you've presented them as an "either / or" and decided you face an impossibility.

 

There are (of course) other options.

For example, since you have an asset you can neither visit easily, nor care for adequately : sell the land.

You'll get less for it with the work that needs doing to it than if it was weed free, but you'll be free of the risk of prison.

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I smell a problem here - googling Gladwish Land Sales comes up with almost nothing of note, but surely if you bought the land from them, YOU own the land and they have no further part to play in the matter - unless it is one of these 'buy greenbelt land as an investment' companies and you have been stung over the last 12 years.

 

Is this the right company http://gladwishlandsales.com/

 

How big is the bit of land in question?

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The weeds mentioned are common ragwort, creeping or field thistle, spear thistle, broad leaved dock.

 

 

Apparently they are all classed as injurious weeds under section 2 of the weeds act 1959.

 

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/7-8/54

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I smell a problem here - googling Gladwish Land Sales comes up with almost nothing of note, but surely if you bought the land from them, YOU own the land and they have no further part to play in the matter - unless it is one of these 'buy greenbelt land as an investment' companies and you have been stung over the last 12 years.

 

Is this the right company http://gladwishlandsales.com/

 

How big is the bit of land in question?

 

Yes that is the company from which I bought the land.

My plot is 0.46 Acre.

Gladwish said that they would pay a contractor to completely de-weed the whole of the 28 Acre site and then charge each plot owner a fee to cover the cost. I agree that it seems strange that Gladwish are involved despite all the plots being sold to private owners.

Looking at the paperwork I received from Gladwish, the original complaint regarding the Weeds Act was sent to them from Natural England in Reading, Berks. Strange how they didn't write to each individual plot owner as each plot owners details are held at the Land Registry and easily available.

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I think you just have to tell them that you are unable to clear the weeds; but you are happy to allow them to do it (although cannot afford to reimburse the cost).

 

 

Or better yet, sell the land.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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Yes that is the company from which I bought the land.

My plot is 0.46 Acre.

Gladwish said that they would pay a contractor to completely de-weed the whole of the 28 Acre site and then charge each plot owner a fee to cover the cost. I agree that it seems strange that Gladwish are involved despite all the plots being sold to private owners.

Looking at the paperwork I received from Gladwish, the original complaint regarding the Weeds Act was sent to them from Natural England in Reading, Berks. Strange how they didn't write to each individual plot owner as each plot owners details are held at the Land Registry and easily available.

 

 

from there :

2 Penalty for failure to comply with requirement.

 

(1) Where a notice has been served under section one of this Act on the occupier of any land and that person unreasonably fails to comply with the requirements of the notice, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding [level 3 on the standard scale.]

 

(2) If a failure in respect of which a person is convicted under the preceding subsection is not remedied within fourteen days after the conviction he shall be guilty of a further offence under that subsection and may be punished accordingly.

 

(3) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) of this section shall not be instituted except by the Minister.

So, no mention of prison!

 

 

I have renently been informed by Gladwish Land Sales that I must clear my land of weeds otherwise I will go to prison.

 

Your options include selling the land, or asking Gladwish under what legislation you could be sent to prison, and asking Natural England if they (or other government agency acting on behalf of the Minister) have served any notice regarding dangerous weeds on that land.

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from there :

So, no mention of prison!

 

 

 

Your options include selling the land, or asking Gladwish under what legislation you could be sent to prison, and asking Natural England if they (or other government agency acting on behalf of the Minister) have served any notice regarding dangerous weeds on that land.

 

Yes it does all seem a little strange. Gladwish called me last week saying that they recently sent me a letter regarding this issue. I haven't recently received any such letter.

Gladwish then asked me to pay them using my debit card to clear the weeds from my plot. I still hadn't received a letter so I became suspicious. When I told Gladwish that I hadn't received any letter from them and refused to give them my debit card details, that's when they said I would go to prison. I will take your advice and contact Natural England next week to check what is happening.

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from there :

So, no mention of prison!

 

 

 

Your options include selling the land, or asking Gladwish under what legislation you could be sent to prison, and asking Natural England if they (or other government agency acting on behalf of the Minister) have served any notice regarding dangerous weeds on that land.

 

prison - countryside and wildlife act (link above)

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This is strange - Ragwort is illegal to uproot unless you are the owner / occupier of the land, or you have authorisation.

 

Further reading here: http://www.plantlife.org.uk/uploads/documents/Ragwort_Position_statement_FINAL_PUBLIC_July07.pdf

 

In that article, it says ragwort is dangerous to horses etc, as they eat it. My own knowledge of this plant is that it can also be dangerous to humans if it comes into contact with the skin. (liver damage) - although there is little scientific evidence of this.

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prison - countryside and wildlife act (link above)

 

Which section? Have you checked what the Act actually says?

 

Your "link above" is to:

http://www.japaneseknotweedremoval.co.uk/japanese-knotweed-legislation-uk.html Who cite

 

“If any person plants or other wise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in part 2 of schedule 9, they shall be found guilty of offence. Japanese Knotweed is included in the schedule of plants. Any person convicted under this act could be liable to a fine of £5,000 and / or 6 months in prison or 2 years in prison and unlimited fines on indictment."

 

The relevant section being cited is S.14(2)

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69/section/14

 

Note that "plants or other wise causes to grow in the wild" is a 'sin of commission', and this is NOT the same as the 'sin of omission' of "failed to stop the relevant weed growing" ; are you suggesting the OP deliberately caused this weed to grow? If not, under what statute (so, Act & section) do you still claim the OP can be sent to prison?

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Defra issued this warning to Gladwish Land Sales who passed it onto me.

 

Formal enforcement under the weeds act will follow if I fail to kill the weeds.

 

Recently Gladwish told me that I will go to prison if I fail to comply.

 

 

OK I think I can help. First of all I have Googled and what I have found about Gladwish does not seem particularly endearing,

 

I would consider it extremely unlikely that anyone would go to prison over this. There is no legal requirement on anyone to clear the weeds listed under the Weeds Act unless they are ordered to do so. The only crime is failing to comply with an order which carries a fine.

 

You can find a copy of the law here with an explanation.

http://www.ragwortfacts.com/ragwort-law.html

 

The Weeds Act was never , or hardly ever, enforced until some people started making things up about ragwort to scare people.

I am not aware of any cases where control of other weeds is being enforced.

 

The guidelines issued by DEFRA are based on an absolutely atrocious and unscientific misuse of statistics. The numbers they use to estimate risk are statistically invalid and actually show a lack of basic numeracy in statistics. See this for the essentials.

http://ragwort-hysteria.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/defra-ragwort-code-of-practice-nonsense.html

 

Also be very very sceptical of what any weed control firm tells you.

See this for where the Advertising Standards people have been taking action.

 

http://wildlifenews.co.uk/2011/07/ragwort-alarmists-rapped-by-advertising-standards-authority/

 

And finally for an example of things being made up. This is a recent one where the Press Complaints Commission became involved.

 

http://www.swanseafoe.org.uk/ragwort-horse-and-hound-press-complaints-commission.html

 

If you can send me a personal message I may be able to offer some useful advice. I do wonder if Gladwish want you to pay them to do the clearance.

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Note that "plants or other wise causes to grow in the wild" is a 'sin of commission', and this is NOT the same as the 'sin of omission' of "failed to stop the relevant weed growing" ; are you suggesting the OP deliberately caused this weed to grow? If not, under what statute (so, Act & section) do you still claim the OP can be sent to prison?

 

Of course I am not suggesting that the OP deliberately caused this weed to grow.

 

Any person convicted under this act could be liable to a fine of £5,000 and / or 6 months in prison or 2 years in prison and unlimited fines on indictment.
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Of course I am not suggesting that the OP deliberately caused this weed to grow.

 

So, you accept the threats of prison are unwarranted?

 

It is just that (for some reason) you have requoted the "can go to prison" section that ISN'T applicable unless it was a deliberate act ........

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Yes it does all seem a little strange. Gladwish called me last week saying that they recently sent me a letter regarding this issue. I haven't recently received any such letter.

Gladwish then asked me to pay them using my debit card to clear the weeds from my plot. I still hadn't received a letter so I became suspicious. When I told Gladwish that I hadn't received any letter from them and refused to give them my debit card details, that's when they said I would go to prison. I will take your advice and contact Natural England next week to check what is happening.

 

Personally I wouldn't attract attention to yourself. DEFRA will only take action if they have had a complaint and there is ragwort there and the land is close to grazing land. It is interesting that Gladwish are talking about "weeds" when in reality only Ragwort is ever a problem.

It sounds a bit odd to me. If I lived close to the site I would go and look at it for you. Perhaps someone can find a botanist to check it for you and perhaps tell you what else grows there. The plant community might tell a knowledgeable person quite a lot about the chances of you ever having those weeds. I would tell them you authorise nothing at all unless they provide you with documentary evidence. In fact I would refuse to deal with them on the phone and tell them to put everything in writing.

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So, you accept the threats of prison are unwarranted?

 

It is just that (for some reason) you have requoted the "can go to prison" section that ISN'T applicable unless it was a deliberate act ........

 

IMO, many threats of prison are unwarranted. It was requoted for your benefit since you asked. The operative word being "can"

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A friend who ownes land in Portugal has offered to visit my plot and spray it

with weed killer that he bought for de-weeding his land.

He is willing to do this for me and only charge me for his petrol.

Maybe by doing this I can get Gladwish off my back.

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I have just discovered that several plot owners who own plots on the edge of the

site have been granted full planning permission to build a nursing home.

Being of suspicious mind, I wonder if this weeds caper is some kind of

fiddle to compulsory purchase other adjacent plots. I know that with planning

permission, my plot would be worth over £400.000.

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