Land becomes contaminated when materials have found their way into the ground - often when industries have disposed of, leaked or spilt substances. These substances may still be present in the ground above acceptable levels. Contaminated land has a specific legal definition.
Land once used by industries is often now being used for other purposes, including housing, which are more sensitive to the potential effects of contamination.
Council duties for contaminated land
Our Contaminated Land Strategy (updated in 2016) sets out how we intend to:
- Identify contaminated land within the borough
- Prioritise these sites, and
- Remediate the land, as necessary, to prevent harm to human health and the environment, now and in the future.
We also have a duty to maintain a Public Register of Contaminated Land. The public register is intended to act as a full and permanent record, which is open for public inspection at all reasonable times. Currently, the register does not have any entries.
Former Joco Pit site in Borough Green
The Council is looking to carry out further investigation at this site.
How the council works with developers and contaminated land
Through the planning process, we ensure that any proposed developments where land contamination may be an issue are identified.
The imposition of planning conditions on the development ensures that any potential contamination is investigated and remediated as necessary. If appropriate the developer is required to submit a remediation scheme to address the contamination and submit a closing report at the completion of the scheme.
How the council helps people buying or selling a property or land
The Council is able to offer advice and information for purchasers and vendors of sites/properties on or near sites of potential contamination. You can obtain this by contacting us and including a map that clearly defines the land concerned.
There is a minimum charge for providing this information of £65 per hour (VAT does not apply), one hour minimum. Please read our refund policy.
If you wish to discuss any issue regarding the information on this page please contact the Environmental Protection Team