Contaminated land

Investigation of potentially contaminated land

Land which has potentially contaminative past uses, or where there is evidence of contamination, may be investigated. Soil, water and gas samples may be taken from the area to be tested for contamination. This may involve digging test pits or boreholes. The results of the testing will indicate if contamination is present. A risk assessment will then be conducted to find out if there is any danger from contamination to the users of the site (i.e. a 'pollutant linkage'). If there is, action may be required.

Who pays for these investigations?

For sites investigated under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act, we will pay for the cost of initial investigation to establish if there is potential for a pollutant linkage to be present. If the results of this initial investigation indicate the need for further investigation, we would apply for a government grant to cover these costs.

Applicants or developers must pay for the clean-up carried out as part of the development process of their sites.

We do not pay for private household investigations: this is the responsibility of the property owner.

Investigation phases

We must undertake investigations in phases to meet statutory guidance.

If the first stage of intrusive sampling works does not conclude any pollutant linkages, investigation will stop and the land will be considered fit for use. If the first phase of investigation identifies some contamination issues and further information is required, investigation will proceed to Phase 2.

The time taken to investigate a potentially contaminated land site will depend on what is identified during each phase of investigation and can range from a few months to several years.

Reporting contamination

If you have information to suggest contamination may be present on an area of land, you should email immediately.

We may already be aware of the history of the area and be able to provide further information. Each site we are aware of will be investigated by priority of risk. Much of the existing information on contaminated land within the Council comprises local knowledge and historical records.

Contaminated land conditions

If you have made a planning application and a contaminated land condition has been applied to it, this is probably because your application site is on or close to a potentially contaminated land source. A condition is attached to ensure your development work makes it fit for its end use.

Get in touch about environmental health

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.