It is on record that historically there was japanese knotweed on the land at Princes Parade.
On 8 Feb 2017 the Folkestone & Hythe Express published a claim by council officials that the knotweed was “removed from the site more than 10 years ago”.
But when proof of this was requested via a Freedom of Information request the council said they did not hold the information.
Questions were asked about the knotweed at the cabinet meeting on 7 February 2017. You can watch the video here – knotweed comes up at 4 mins 33 secs:
At the meeting it was confirmed that japanese knotweed was present between 2002 and 2005 but had been subject to a programme of control. More recent survey work has not find any knotweed on the site.
However in August 2017 a member of the public spotted a japanese knotweed plant on Princes Parade.
On 25 August 2017 the chief executive said in an email to a member of SPP “With regards to the specifics of Japanese Knotweed – I can assure you that officers from the Council carry out regular checks on our land and undertake an eradication programme for invasive plants. The programme includes addressing any incidences of Japanese Knotweed, which is usually dealt with via stem injection.”
In the Sept 6 2017 edition of the Folkestone & Hythe Express a council spokesman admitted that a small amount of japanese knotweed had been found in bushes adjacent to the development site (note not proposed development site) and said that any knotweed discovered on the site itself would be treated and the site cleared before any homes were built.
The council claims that “Princes Parade has been thoroughly walked by grounds maintenance officers and no other plants have been identified.” But the site is currently very overgrown with nettles and brambles so it is hard to believe that the officers have been able to thoroughly inspect the site.