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Hornsey Rise homeowner: ‘Harmful weed could ruin foundations of my house’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:50 14 September 2017

Christopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly Hancock

Christopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

An infuriated homeowner fears a harmful weed could damage the foundations of his house – after five years of complaints going “ignored”.

Christopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly HancockChristopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly Hancock

Christopher Morrow moved into his home in Trinder Gardens, Hornsey Rise, in January 2013. The house is close to the Gospel Oak to Barking railway line near Crouch Hill station. Mr Morrow was told by his surveyor Japanese knotweed was growing nearby, and that it needed to be sorted by Network Rail.

Japanese knotweed can grow through tarmac and cause structural damage to a property. Since he moved in, Mr Morrow claims the weed has crept 20 yards towards the house and is now growing in his garden.

Home Office guidance says individuals, businesses or organisations have a legal responsibility to stop it spreading. But Mr Morrow claims Network Rail has constantly ignored his pleas to deal with the issue.

He told the Gazette: “It’s only got worse since 2013. You send an email, or get through to the call centre, and they will give me a job reference number. From there, it gets passed on to another department and from there nothing gets done.

"You send an email, or get through to the call centre, and they will give me a job reference number. From there, it gets passed on to another department and from there nothing gets done. I’ve gone through this process 20 to 30 times"

Christopher Morrow

“I’ve gone through this process 20 to 30 times. It’s been so frustrating. With Network Rail, it just seems to be a law unto themselves.”

He added: “We have spent quite a bit of money on the garden, but at the moment we can’t work on one side because I have a massive knotweed bush there. I’m unable to do anything about it, as I don’t want to make the knotweed spread any more.

“I see new sprouts growing on the lawn, and if it carries on like this, I’m worried it will spread to the house.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We are aware of Mr Morrow’s concerns and have been in regular contact with him.

Christopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly HancockChristopher Morrow inspects the Japanese knotweed which is growing in his Hornsey Rise garden. Picture: Polly Hancock

“We have regularly treated this area since it was first reported but Japanese knotweed requires several years of treatment to be effective.

“The area is on our Japanese knotweed register and we will continue to treat the location.”

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