Land that contains substances in, on, or under it which are, or can be, harmful to humans. Due to the long history of industry, numerous sites throughout the UK have been contaminated by human activities. Examples include mining, chemical processing and waste disposal sites.
Any industrial or commercial activity has the potential to contaminate land to some extent. However, just because contamination is present on land, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem.
Our role is to:
In April 2000, Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 came into force introducing new legislation for the regulation of contaminated land in England. This places duties on Local Authorities to identify potentially contaminated sites in their area and make sure they are cleaned up (remediated).
To enforce the legislation we have to do the following:
Requirements for cleaning up contaminated land are now well established. In the past, however, cleaning up contaminated land when houses were built was not common practice. As a result, contamination may have stayed in the ground which is why there are many sites in Derby that could be affected.
If your house is relatively new, the planning process should have ensured that the risk of contamination was assessed and dealt with by the developer who built the houses.
You can contact us to find out if a particular address is located on land that is either known or suspected to be contaminated.
Our Planning Pages have details of all recent planning applications submitted within Derby.
During the sale your solicitor may make enquiries about contaminated land. These are usually carried out by private organisations who can confirm whether the land has a risk of being significantly contaminated or not, often issuing a certificate.
Your solicitor may also contact our Contaminated Land Officer and request information about the historical uses of the land and whether it has been identified as potentially contaminated.
Anyone can contact us to find out if a particular address they are concerned about is located on land that has the potential to be contaminated.
We will act in accordance with planning guidance and may attach a planning condition to your site if it is known, or suspected, to have had a potentially contaminative history.
You should appoint a suitably qualified consultant to undertake the required site investigation and interpretation of results to satisfy the conditions placed on the grant of outline planning permission. For more details refer to A Guide to Submitting Applications for Land that maybe Contaminated
Environmental consultants can be found in the phone book or on the internet. We are unable to recommend any, although you can enquire if a consultant you are thinking of employing has previously submitted reports to us. You should also make them aware of the specific wording of any planning condition.
There is no certainty that a hired consultant will carry out the desktop study or site investigation to the required standard. We recommend getting a number of quotes and checking whether the consultant has done similar work before.
All reports submitted in connection with a planning application must refer to the latest guidance from the Environment Agency and the most up to date soil guideline values. Reports will be rejected if they refer to withdrawn guideline values.
Reports can use alternative assessment criteria provided they have used robust scientific data and have been derived using a UK relevant risk assessment model such as CLEA v1.06.
Any soil imported onto the development site from an outside source must be suitable for use. Also, soil from elsewhere on the development site which is proposed for use as part of a cover system or landscaping must be suitable for use and will be subject to the same requirements as imported material.
Where it is proposed to import soil onto site in connection with the development, this should be tested at source to establish whether it is suitable as a clean cover. It may also be possible to test the material once it has arrived at site without testing at source. However, this is not advised and it is recommended you discuss this with the Contaminated Land Officer. Any material brought to site without being tested at source will be done so at the risk of the developer. If the material fails the testing criteria and proved not to be suitable for use on site, it will need to be removed.
The soil being tested for contamination should be analysed in a laboratory that is accredited under the MCERTS Chemical Testing of Soil Scheme, for all chemical parameters requested, and the results submitted to our Contaminated Land Officer for consideration.
As a minimum, the following determinants and parameters should be tested:
Vendor certificates of the physical and nutrient properties of the matrix are not accepted in place of actual in situ sampling of the soil for the appropriate physico-chemical properties.
We will accept the sampling at a ratio of one sample for every 100 m3 (approximately 150 tons) of material imported from a ’greenfield’ source or one sample for every 50 m3 for material from an unknown or potentially contaminated source. A minimum of three samples must be tested.
An alternative sampling frequency will be considered if supported by appropriate justification, conceptual site model or a risk assessment.
For further information refer to A Guide to the Content and Submission of a Validation or Verification Report