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Contaminated land

Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires the council to identify contaminated land that is posing an unacceptable risk to human health or the wider environment, and to secure remediation of that land.  The council’s strategy shows what the council has done so far and how it will carry on doing this.

The council also makes sure that when developing on brownfield sites, land contamination is investigated, assessed and remediated if necessary.  This is the way that most contaminated land in the borough has been remediated so far and we work with developers and their consultants to ensure that a suitable standard is achieved.

Developers should note that we expect a higher than minimum standard to be achieved during development. Guidance for developers on what we look for in reports and investigations is available in Environment Agency documents and is available in a much simplified format in our developers guide.  Developers should always use an experienced qualified consultant to deal with any contaminated land investigations.

Guidance and policy on land contamination changes very rapidly and we recommend that the Environment Agency should be consulted to obtain the most up to date information and position.

We offer advice and guidance to purchasers or vendors of sites on or near sites of potential land contamination, general information is in the leaflet.

The council holds a wide range of data on potential sources of contamination. A register is maintained to show when legal action is taken on contaminated land. For sites that may be contaminated the council holds data on:

  • historic land use
  • planning history
  • pollution incidents
  • details of closed landfill sites and
  • site specific reports on investigation and remediation

We can provide a written response to enquiries on potential land contamination using information available to the council in relation to planning history, previous enquiries or investigations, historic mapping and the councils prioritisation work under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Information and environmental searches are also available from commercial suppliers and these companies may also give a certificate or opinion on the possibility that the land may fit the legal definition of contaminated land.

In line with the guidance issued by the Information Commissioner the council makes a charge of £27 per hour for this service. The first hour is payable in advance.

To request a search please contact us by email with your details and the details of the property you are interested in.

When your search has been registered and you have been given a customer reference number you can pay the initial fee online, your search will then be completed. Should the search take longer than one hour we will contact you to pay the additional fee required before the search is released.