Land that may be contaminated

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Land that may be contaminated

Commercial premises, including farm yards and barns, may be affected by contamination due to past uses.

Such contamination may have occurred due oil leaks, buried waste, asbestos containing materials, leaking pesticides etc.

Permitted Developments such as the conversions of offices to residential premises, may also fall into the contaminated land regime and require a planning condition. This is because such premises, if built before the year 2000 are likely to contain asbestos containing materials (ACMs) which could form a Source-Pathway-Receptor linkage with future receptors. Therefore a suitable Asbestos survey would be required and potential removal of any ACMs.

 'Contaminated Land' is a strict legal definition, defined by Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 78A (2) as:

  • "any land which appears to the Local Authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land that -
    • a) significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
    • b) pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused."

(the regime has been extended to include land contaminated with radioactive substances)

Part 2A places a duty on the Council to publish a contaminated land strategy, inspect its area in accordance with the strategy and to keep a public register of prescribed particulars regarding remediation notices, remediation statements or declarations, appeals and notifications in relation to land formally determined as 'contaminated land'. It is not a 'register of contaminated land', a common misconception.

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