Watching Brief for a private developer
By The JKL Team

Watching Brief for a private developer

PROJECT EXAMPLE: Providing a watching brief to supervise Japanese knotweed removal for a private developer

Property managed for Japanese knotweed

Project overview

In February this year we received an enquiry about a building that had been purchased with the intention of converting into six flats, but it came with suspected knotweed. The new owner of Boxmoor Hall was planning to demolish a small building at the rear of the property when his local council alerted him as to the potential presence of knotweed.

the challenge

The owner needed the knotweed to be removed before works on the building conversion could begin, and he came to us having searched online for suitable specialists.

Initially we carried out a site survey and provided our recommendations via a full survey report. This was followed by taking some soil samples for laboratory testing to ensure there were no other contaminants in the ground that was to be excavated.

As works were to be carried out by our client’s contractors, we provided a quote for a watching brief to monitor and oversee the demolition work for two days and a further single day to monitor the excavation works to remove the knotweed.

adaptability – watching brief

Keen to keep costs down our client requested we discuss ways in which the costs could be minimised. We advised that as the small building to be demolished was far enough away from the knotweed contaminated area a watching brief to supervise the demolitions works would not be required, however excavation and removal of the knotweed would need to be overseen by our watching brief supervisors. We were happy to consider this request and the decision was made based on his needs whilst ensuring the knotweed was correctly excavated and removed.

Mr Cullen stated, “From my perspective, it’s comforting to know that a contractor is client focused and is willing to adapt their service to provide a saving to a customer, and not just be totally focused on profit. It is my belief that this works in your favour in the long run, as I will always recommend your company and will use you again for sure (hopefully not) should the need arise in the future. Thank you also for the professional manner in which this entire process has been handled, it has been a pleasure to deal with you and the rest of the team.”


We asked Mr Cullen for feedback on our service delivery, he replied stating: “Excellent. I was thoroughly impressed with each member of the team and the process was managed in a clear and informative way throughout.”

When asked why he would recommend our services he replied: “For the reasons mentioned above and your willingness to offer a number of solutions to the problem and to be flexible to adapt to my needs.”


By working closely with our clients, we can ensure that their needs are carefully considered and met. Flexibility is often the key to delivering a successful outcome, in this case we were able to scale back our services whilst making sure the invasive knotweed was completely removed, safely and in a compliant manner. There is no single solution to projects, each one needs to be carefully considered and if need be, adapted along the way. This is one example of that.