Contaminated land

The UK has contaminated land that has previously been used for chemical processing and as waste disposal sites.

We are required to inspect South Norfolk to identify any contaminated land.

If you know of land that could be contaminated because of spillages or past uses please let us know.

A large amount of contaminated sites will be dealt with by redevelopment through the planning system. We assess planning applications against available information and recommend whether further consideration and planning conditions are required. We also liaise with developers and their agents to ensure that all conditions are met and discharged.

Due to the complex and technical nature of this area of work we have produced a guidance document for developers and their consultants.

There is an increased awareness amongst mortgage lenders and solicitors of possible liabilities associated with contaminated land. Consequently it has become increasingly common for solicitors and conveyancers to undertake an environmental search. We do not carry out these searches; they are completed by a private company.

The searches are generally based on information obtained from historical maps, local authorities and the Environment Agency. If a search shows the presence of a past industrial activity, on or in the vicinity of a property, it raises the possibility that a source of contamination may be present.

If your land or property is classed as contaminated land this could mean you may be liable for remediation or cleanup costs. The concern for mortgage lenders is that if the mortgagor defaults on repayments and the property is repossessed, they may be left liable for these costs.

We can provide information on environmental issues for sites within South Norfolk.

We have a duty to identify land that meets the legal definition of contaminated land and have it cleaned up to an acceptable level. Cases that are being dealt with by the redevelopment of the land will be addressed throughout the planning system.

In other cases we will try to encourage informal action, but if this is not possible legal action may be taken.