McCarthy & Stone is well known as the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder and it has achieved this while establishing a reputation for quality and attention to detail.
What’s less well known is quite the lengths it goes to to ensure that its reputation is justified.
Just last week, it instructed JPA founder Jeremy Peirce to return to its site on the edge of Bath where it was demolishing a defunct pub to make way for a new retirement living development. The site had a small amount of Japanese knotweed growing along the stream (see below) and as part of the planning preparation work, the company had instructed JPA to produce a full method statement covering the demolition and construction phases of the project. The method statement called for the project knotweed consultant to give the site team a ‘Toolbox Talk’ on how the method statement should be implemented and how to identify and manage this invasive species.
Jeremy is one of the few BASIS registered agronomists in the South West with a qualified specialism in invasive and injurious weeds. He said: ‘It’s all very well the executives and technical managers of a development group knowing about the recommended management strategies for knotweed, but McCarthy & Stone has recognised that it’s the guys on the ground who can make the difference between whether it becomes a significant problem in the future or not.
‘This site is barely impacted by knotweed at the moment, and if the demolition and construction teams know how to handle it correctly, it can be addressed very effectively and it won’t become the huge issue that it is so often feared to be.’
Once the soft strip is completed, Jeremy will return to the site to oversee the lifting of some footings that are located inside the potentially contaminated area to ensure that the crew has understood the training and is complying with the method statement.
If you are concerned about Japanese knotweed on your site, don’t panic: there are a number of strategies that can mitigate this issue. As a first step, read our technical paper, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide our expert advice.