Contaminated land inspection strategy

Publication of the second edition Inspection Strategy for Contaminated Land

The second edition of the council's inspection strategy was published in January 2010. Relatively few changes have been made since the text of the first edition, apart from fully updating the work programme.

A summary note (PDF, 39KB) and the full inspection strategy (PDF, 516KB) are available to download. Paper copies will be placed in both Lancaster and Morecambe public libraries.

Inspecting the district for contaminated land

Environmental Health Services will inspect the Lancaster district to identify any Contaminated Land and ensure it is assessed and remediated.  This will resolve any unacceptable risks to health or the environment.

Contaminated Land has a legal definition (Part IIA, Environmental Protection Act 1990): “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:

  1. significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
  2. pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused."

(Section 78A(2) – Environmental Protection Act 1990)

Dealing with the legacy and preventing new threats from contamination

New developments such as housing are sensitive to any existing land contamination. Councils are also expected to ensure that opportunities are taken to tackle unacceptable contamination during redevelopment.

Developers are required to consider land contamination before submitting planning applications under national planning policy (Planning Policy Statement 23) and our planning validation guide (PDF, 2.6MB).

The council's contaminated land officer is consulted on new planning applications but is also pleased to advise future applicants on an informal basis.

It is often necessary for applicants to provide information demonstrating that their proposals do not pose risks due to land contamination. Technical work such as a desktop study and sometimes site investigations may be required.

If land contamination is not fully understood before redevelopment there may be unresolved risks to health, the environment and the development itself (including its future value).

Planning conditions will be included in planning permissions to ensure satisfactory control of land contamination risks.  However the council cannot grant permission until an initial land contamination assessment (if required) has been submitted and accepted.

Last updated: 11 October 2016