Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives local authorities the responsibility for regulating contaminated land. Part of that duty is to have a contaminated land strategy detailing how we intend to review and assess land contamination within the District. Land contamination is also a material planning consideration. This means that any potentially contaminated land passing through the planning process should be dealt with ensuring that there are no further risks to the future occupiers or wider environment from this land. It is the developer's responsibility to ensure a safe development.
South Holland District Council has published a contaminated land strategy (see Related Documents section below).
At present, areas of concern are being assessed and prioritised for further investigation under the strategy.
South Holland District Council has not formally declared any contaminated land sites as defined in Part 2A.
Assessing whether contamination really exists
One of the key elements of assessing whether a site is contaminated is establishing whether a pollutant linkage exists. This consists of:
Source - a contaminant which exists in, on or under the site.
Pathway - a means by which the contaminant can reach a receptor.
Receptor - someone or something, which could be affected by the contaminant (e.g. a human being, water resource, building).
If a viable pollutant linkage exists (source-pathway-receptor is present) then an assessment of potential risk to the receptor(s) needs to be carried out.
Action required and who pays?
If you own or occupy contaminated land/Land affected by contamination, now or you did in the past, you may be responsible for cleaning up the contamination. You may still be responsible for remediating the contamination after you have sold the land.
Some contamination can be a hazard to current occupants or neighbours and the law says the problem must be rectified.
The law follows the 'polluter pays' principle - the person or organisation that caused or permitted the contamination must pay to have it put right. If that person or organisation is not known, then the current owner of the land may become responsible.
If you require further advice or have any information about land contamination please contact the Environmental Protection Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01775 761161.
There is a fee for environmental land searches associated with land/property sales. A Contaminated Land Search/Enquiry costs £62.00.