Many areas of land have become contaminated by the residues left behind by activities such as mining, waste disposal and general industrial processes.
There are believed to be between 50,000 and 100,000 potentially contaminated sites within the UK. Most of these sites do not pose any immediate hazard to human health or the environment, but until the contamination is treated the land may be severely restricted in how it may be used.
We are in the process of identifying and registering contaminated land in our areas. Where we identify an area of contaminated land, we will identify who is responsible for the contamination and agree what works they should do to prevent the contamination causing harm to health or the environment. They will also need to ensure that any development takes account of the contamination. Additional consultations and considerations apply to any built development within 250 metres of an existing or former landfill site.
Where development takes place on potentially contaminated land or land identified as being contaminated the developer will be required to investigate and clean up the site making it safe for the end use. This will be conditioned through the planning process. If you are purchasing a property on a site that is identified as contaminated or potentially contaminated you should ensure you obtain a remediation certificate or validation report from the owner or developer. If you wish to find out whether a property you own or are buying is on or near a contaminated or potentially contaminated site please contact the council’s pollution team who can provide you with a report for which there is a charge of £40 per hour for the production of the report.
Certain types of contaminated land, where the contamination tends to be particularly severe or difficult to treat, are classed as special sites. These are regulated by the Environment Agency.