Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires local authorities to inspect their areas and identify any contaminated land. A contaminated land inspection strategy must also be produced which explains how the local authority will carry out the inspection process.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has produced a strategy to explain how contaminated land will be identified and dealt with in this Borough. We will be reviewing the strategy shortly. Please email or telephone the Council if you require the strategy.
We will investigate all previous land uses which may have used contaminants that could cause harm to human health, initially by assessing any previous site investigations and remedial works. Site inspections and testing will be undertaken if there is inadequate information to determine whether the site is contaminated or not. At present the Council recognises in the region of 300 potentially contaminated land sites, however this number changes frequently as and when information is received on any site.
Land may also be investigated for contamination through the Planning process. In some cases the Council may request for a Site Investigation and Remediation Statement as a Condition of Planning.
Planning Advice Note for the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Land (pdf - 294kb).
The intention of this guide is to assist developers and their environmental consultants in meeting the requirements of planning conditions relating to contaminated land. This advice note does not form part of any planning permission and is intended only as a guide to assist in compliance. A glossary of terms and a full reference list of other guidance documents are included.
To date, two major Contaminated Land investigations have been completed in the Borough by the Council. These Council investigations, as well as those carried out by developers as part of the planning process, have yet to give us cause to designate any land in the Borough as "contaminated land" by statutory definition.
Section 78A(2) of the EPA 1990 defines contaminated land as;
'Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition by reason of substances in, on or under the land that;
(a) significant harm is being caused or there is significant possibility of such harm being caused or pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused.
(b) In determining if land should be regarded as contaminated land, the Local Authority must have regard to appropriate guidance issued by the Secretary of State'.
For land to have the potential to be contaminated, a risk assessment must be completed on that land to ascertain if a source, a pathway and a receptor are present on that land.
Source - A contaminant is a substance which is in, on or under the land and which has the potential to cause harm or to cause pollution of controlled waters.
Pathway - The route by which a receptor is being or could be exposed to, or affected by a contaminant.
Receptor - It is either: a) A living organism, a group of living organisms, an ecological system or a piece of property that is listed in the Statutory Guidance for significant harm and is being or could be harmed by contaminant or b) Controlled waters which are being, or could be, polluted by a contaminant.
Using the historical information we hold at the Council, we are able to provide some information on previous land uses that may give some indication of potential contamination. There is a charge made for this information under the Environmental Information Regulations (2004) for anyone wishing to request such details.
Each enforcing authority is required to maintain a Contaminated Land Register which must include details of any Remediation Notices (only served once an area has been designated as Statutory Contaminated Land) as well as information about the condition of the land.
Each enforcing authority is required to maintain a contaminated land register which must include details of any Remediation Notices (only served once an area has been designated as Statutory Contaminated Land) as well as information about the condition of the land.
The register can be examined at Epsom Town Hall by appointment.
Contaminated Land FAQs