Development proposed on land that is or may be affected by contamination is a material planning consideration.
Various contaminants may be present on land which could adversely impact on:
- the health of future site users
- the health of construction workers during development
- Environmental receptors including surface and groundwater.
Land can be contaminated by things like:
- heavy metals
- fuels, oils and tars
- chemical substances and preparations, like solvents
- hazardous ground gases and vapours
- buried wastes
- radioactive substances
Where necessary the developer may be required to carry out further site investigation that fully characterises the nature and extent of any contamination.
Every plausible ‘Pollutant Linkage’ (sources, pathways and receptors) should be identified and an assessment of all risks in relation to these should be considered. A phased approach should be adopted in accordance with current Government Guidance (Land Contamination Risk Management - LCRM). This work/investigation must be carried out by a suitably qualified competent person(s).
If necessary a Remediation Strategy should be developed to ensure that the land is remediated to a standard that enables safe development and end-use of the site.
The Environmental Health Service focus on the human health impact of contaminated land, whereas the NIEA focus on the environmental impact such as groundwater and surface water contamination.
For further information you can contact the Environment and Neighbourhoods Team on 02871 253 253.