The council tackles land contamination in three ways:
Through the Planning Process
Planning applications are checked to see if they are situated on land known or suspected to have a potentially contaminative former use. Where necessary conditions are applied requiring the developer to carry out an investigation of the site, and carry out remediation (clean-up) if contamination is found. Remediation must be to a standard that makes the land suitable for the proposed development.
Through the Inspection Strategy
Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act places a duty on all local authorities to inspect their area to identify contaminated land and ensure it is properly cleaned up. The council has produced an Inspection Strategy setting-out how it intends to carry out its duties under this legislation.
The council has a duty to regulate several industries and activities which could give rise to further land contamination. We work closely with our various regulatory partners, including the Environment Agency, to prevent new contamination being caused, or to require clean-up by the responsible polluter.