Building or renovating a property on contaminated land

What to do if you're considering building or renovating a property on an area of contaminated land.

Before you start

For advice on making sure contamination is dealt with appropriately, you should talk to:

  • the local planning department
  • the Strategic Environmental Protection Team at the council (who may hold additional information about the site)
  • the Environment Agency, if necessary

You should also read our guide for development on potentially contaminated land PDF, 478KB.

Submitting a planning application

When submitting a planning application, you should submit enough information with your planning application to:

  • determine the risks from contamination
  • prove to the local planning authority that there is a realistic option for treating or remediating the site

Investigations and recommendations

Developers are required to carry out investigations and make recommendations for addressing contamination as a condition of planning approval, this includes:

  • adequately assessing the risk posed by any contaminants present
  • outlining suitable remedial measures

This is because we need to make sure that land is, or will be made, suitable for any new use.

If contamination is found after you start building

If you find contamination after you start building, you must stop work immediately and contact the:

  • local planning department
  • Strategic Environmental Protection Team

Building works cannot start again until an appropriate remediation scheme has been submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority which sets out how you'll deal with the contamination.

Contact the environmental health team