Contaminated land is land which may cause harm to people, property or the environment, because of contamination in the ground, often as a result of previous uses. The contamination may be complex chemicals, asbestos, oils, gases, polluted water or old landfill material.
The Council is responsible for writing and following a Mendip Contaminated Land Strategy [438kb] which discusses the identification, investigation and remediation of such land in the District.
We also provide a chargeable contaminated land enquiry service for prospective property purchasers.
Free advice can be offered to householders if they suspect that there is a problem with land contamination, for example due to an old central heating tank.
Where a site is affected by contamination or land stability issues, responsibility for securing a safe development rests with the developer and/or landowner.
Developing Contaminated Land
Development of contaminated or potentially contaminated sites is controlled through the planning process usually by attaching conditions to both outline and detailed planning permissions, which may include the following staged requirements:-
- Desk based survey - identifies the potential for, and likelihood of contamination.
- Physical site investigation - examining nature and extent of the contamination and assesses whether it could cause harm to humans or the environment.
- Remediation - action to either remove contaminative substances from the site, treat them or contain them on the site so they are no longer a problem; and
- Validation - evidence that the remediation has taken place and that the site is now fit for its end-use prior to occupation.
The new development must comply with these conditions and an adequate site investigation information must be prepared by a competent person, to ensure that these conditions are met and professionally evaluated and "signed-off" to confirm compliance with them.
Additional Advice for Applicants, Developers and Consultants can be found in the Developing Contaminated Land [52kb] document.
Please use the Contaminated Land form for enquiries.