We have various duties regarding polluted sites, under planning law and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Under both legal frameworks the guiding principles are the same - that sites are fit for purpose and that where clean up is needed the 'polluter pays' principle is adopted.
Contaminated land is a material consideration under the land use planning process.
Advice on how this is applied can be found in the government's guidance document on pollution impacts.
Any new development requiring planning permission, and involving previously used land, is referred to our principal scientific officer, who will determine whether any actions, preconditions, information or regulatory action is required prior to the development of a site.
If there is any suspicion of a previously contaminative use upon a site, we require an historical desktop study and site walkover survey, by a qualified environmental professional.
Should the above survey suggest the existence of contaminated material on site, then we require submission of results of a full intrusive site investigation to establish the nature and extent of hazardous material on site.
Once a satisfactory site investigation and characterisation has been performed - in terms of sources, pathways and receptors - the developer of a site must produce one of the following:
These must take in to account the proposed end-use of the site.
Provided this policy is adhered to, no recently developed sites will fall in to the category of contaminated land defined under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act.
A land-use history report may be useful if you are planning to develop a site that has a known previous use.
Our scientific team can provide you with a summary report containing:
The sources of this information are as follows:
A land-use history report is available for £145.
We have produced a developers' guide to contaminated land [PDF, 4.5 MB], which has been written to provide guidance to anyone who is proposing to develop, or is involved in the development of land that may be affected by contamination.
Our Contaminated Land Strategy [PDF. 1.8 MB] describes how we will undertake our statutory duty to:
The district councils became the primary regulator for the identification and remediation of contaminated land in April 2000, with the introduction of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (amended by Section 57 of the Environment Act 1995).
To request a land use report, to obtain a hard copy of the developers guide or for further information please contact:
Telephone 01223 457890
PO BOX 700
Cambridge CB1 0JH