Japanese knotweed concerns at new CALA homes site at Bishopbriggs

Pollution fears have been raised by a campaign group after an invasive plant was discovered on a Bishopbriggs site where 135 homes are due to be built.

Japanese knotweed, which is notoriously difficult to eradicate, has been found at the CALA homes site at Jellyhill, 

CALA won an appeal to build here earlier this year despite fierce opposition by local 
people, councillors and MSPs.

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Save Bishopbriggs Canal Greenspace group, which has been at the forefront of the protest against the development, has raised pollution fears.

A spokesperson for the local campaign group said: “It appears that some Japanese knotweed has been treated with chemicals as you can see all the remaining stalks but it hasn’t actually killed it off in the treated areas.

“The treatment is concerning because it’s in a public place, directly at the burn.

“Chemicals to treat this plant are known to be carcinogenic and children and animals use the area.”

A study by Swansea University in April this year, reported by the BBC, found non-native Japanese knotweed must be “controlled and managed” as it cannot be completely eradicated in the short term.

The Herald contacted 
CALA and East Dunbartonshire Council.

Council boss Thomas Glen said: “One of the planning conditions for this site requires the submission of a method statement for the 
removal of Japanese knotweed within the site.

“This should be carried out by a suitably qualified organisation and would need to include appropriate removal methods for the location as certain methods are not 
appropriate near watercourses.

“The council’s Planning Service will work with the developer to ensure all conditions are met in full to minimise disruption to local residents prior to, during and post construction, and ensure they deliver all of the positive community benefits secured through the Section 75 legal agreement.”

A spokesperson from CALA Homes (West) said: “CALA Homes has liaised closely with East Dunbartonshire Council to agree the specifics of planned site enabling works, noting that these require to 
be completed prior to a 
construction start on site.

“All of these pre-agreed works, directed by CALA, are being completed by approved and accredited companies who are required to work to rigorous health and safety standards.”

Meanwhile, local Green MSP Ross Greer said: “The news that Japanese knotweed is posing a problem on the site.should come as a surprise to nobody.

“There were strong and well-evidenced warnings in many of the record-breaking number of objections.