Contaminated land

Cleaning up contaminated land

If an area of land is formally found to be contaminated land, we will ensure it is dealt with. We will require remediation to make it suitable for its intended use through planning conditions and building regulations.

What is remediation?

Remediation is the cleaning up of contamination to leave the site suitable for use. This can take many forms including

  • digging out the source of pollution
  • blocking the 'pathway' of contamination with a barrier
  • removing the 'receptor' (i.e. what could be harmed), for example by changing the use of the site from housing to less sensitive industrial uses

The method of remediation and who pays for it is complex and dependent on which contaminants are found. Sometimes, remedial costs are borne by the original polluter. If the land is being investigated though the planning regime, the developer has a responsibility to make it suitable and so will pay for remedial works.

Finding the original polluter is often difficult as operators may have gone out of business. In these cases, the current owner or occupier can sometimes be held liable.

For more information email

Liability groups who may be responsible for contaminated land remedial costs may submit their case for Hardship panel consideration under the Council’s Hardship Policy

PDF icon Adopted Hardship Policy 2020

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.