Pollution Control - Contaminated Land

Contaminated Land Management

The Environment Act 1995 introduced a new regulatory framework for contaminated land management in which local authorities have a key role.

The legal definition of contaminated land is much more restrictive than the normally accepted definition. Land can only be regarded as contaminated when it appears to the Local Authority to contain substances (solid, liquid or gaseous) which either cause 'significant harm' or where there is a 'significant possibility of such harm being caused.' Harm in this sense is to any living organisms (including people),wildlife, property, water, livestock or crops.

In deciding whether land is contaminated, Local Authorities are required to make complex judgements based on the potential risk. These judgements must be based upon scientific evidence and the assessment of risk must be based on the Government's published guidelines.

Under the Environment Act 1995 local authorities are required to draw up a strategy for identifying and dealing with potentially contaminated sites. See East Northamptonshire Council's Contaminated Land Strategy.

Advice for developers and their advisors when developing land affected by contamination.  See Contaminated Land - A Guide for Developers and their Advisors.

Members of the public are entitled to request information held by any local authority under the Freedom of Information, Environmental Protection - Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

If you wish to undertake a local land charges search you can apply to the council for one (charges apply). 

More information

  1. Pollution Control - Contaminated Land (you are here)
  2. Contaminated Land- Part 2A Public Register