Contaminated land

We have to inspect the land within our area to identify land where contamination is causing unacceptable risks to human health or the wider environment.

Most land contamination problems are dealt with through development and planning controls, but the law provides a way to put things right if this is not the case.

We have a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy, which explains how the Council prioritises its inspection procedures and its overall approach.

The main objectives of the strategy are:

  • To comply with the legal requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part IIA.
  • To compile a register of all the land in the district defined as contaminated land in the EPA 1990 Part IIA.
  • To ensure land identified as contaminated land is remediated (restored so it is not contaminated) and keep records of this Contaminated Land Register.
  • To encourage owners of contaminated land due to be redeveloped to carry out voluntary remediation through the planning process.
  • To encourage the re-use of brownfield sites to maximise the use of previously developed land, to reduce the pressure on greenfield sites and to preserve the Green Belt in general.

The most serious problems will be addressed first, concentrating resources on areas where contaminated land is most likely to be found.

The risk assessment will assign priorities to:

  • Protect human health.
  • Protect controlled waters that are used for the supply of drinking water.
  • Protect designated ecosystems.
  • Protect property.
  • Protect land from any further contamination.
  • Inspect land owned by the council.
  • Inspect land scheduled for redevelopment.
  • Encourage voluntary remediation.
  • Encourage the re-use of brownfield sites.