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Environment and animals

Contaminated land and planning applications

Developers are responsible for:

  • investigating land contamination
  • cleaning up contamination
  • ensuring land is safe and suitable for its proposed future use

Land contamination assessments

Your planning application must be accompanied by an appropriate 'contamination assessment' if:

  • there's evidence that your site may be affected by contamination
  • the proposed use is 'vulnerable to the presence of contamination' (for example, residential housing)

As a minimum, a contamination assessment must include a 'Phase 1 investigation' with:

  • a desk study
  • a site walkover
  • a conceptual site model

If you're planning on building an individual residential property on a site with no past industrial uses, a Screening Assessment Form would be enough for an appropriate contamination assessment.

High levels of contamination can affect development. If high levels of contamination are known (or suspected) to be present, then more detailed information may need to be submitted with your planning application.

See the Development on land affected by contamination guidance published by the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pollution Advisory Group (YALPAG).

Investigation and remediation of land

If a potential source of land contamination is identified on a proposed development site, planning conditions will usually be imposed to ensure it is investigated and cleaned up (remediated) appropriately.

All investigation, assessment and 'remediation' of contaminated land should:

  • follow current best practice
  • be carried out by a competent person, with a recognised relevant qualification and sufficient experience in assessing contaminated land (e.g. an environmental consultant).

Planning conditions will only be 'discharged' once they have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of our Contaminated Land Officer. Carrying out unacceptable or insufficient work, or submitting unsuitable or incomplete reports, may lead to delays and additional costs.

Also see

Public Protection Team

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 551525