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Contaminated land

Online portal

You can now register complaints or enquires for the Environmental Protection team by visiting our online portal.

Thousands of sites may have been contaminated by previous industrial use, often associated with traditional processes which are no longer used.

These sites may present a hazard to human health or the environment, but there is a growing need to reclaim and redevelop.

What is land contamination?

The term 'land contamination' covers a wide range of situations where land is contaminated in some way. In a small number of these situations where certain criteria are met, a site might be determined 'contaminated land' which has a specific legal definition set out in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act.

All over the UK, there are thousands of sites that have been contaminated by previous use. Often this is associated with industrial processes or activities that have now ceased, but where waste products or remaining residues present a hazard to the general environment.

There is increasing pressure to reuse land which is affected by contamination rather than develop greenfield sites such as parks or woodland.

What are the Council doing about land contamination?

Telford and Wrekin Councils Environmental Protection team are currently developing a new Contaminated Land Strategy. It is envisaged that the strategy will be publicly available Autumn 2024.

View the public register of contaminated land sites within the borough.

Responsibility for cleaning up the land

Appropriate persons, identified by us, are liable for all or part of the remediation of the land. There are two classes of appropriate persons:

  • class A-appropriate persons are those who cause or knowingly permit the pollutants to be in, on or under the land
  • class B-appropriate persons are the owners or occupiers of the land.

Where no class A-appropriate persons can be identified, then the class B-appropriate persons may become liable.

Where an appropriate person can no longer be found (the person may have died, or their company gone into liquidation) the enforcing authority may be required to take on the missing person's share of liability and undertake the remedial works themselves. Any other appropriate persons for that piece of contaminated land will still be required to pay their share of the remediation costs.

Does this apply to me?

The contaminated land regime has implications for those who cause or knowingly permit land to be contaminated, or who own or occupy land that is contaminated. This has greater relevance for those in business who may operate a process that could cause contamination. 

For home owners who may find themselves in the unlikely situation of being responsible, we have to be fair as to how remediation costs are apportioned. We're governed by strict guidelines to that effect.

View the environmental information requests page if you're about to buy a property but you're concerned that there may be a risk of contamination, then we may be able to search our records.

Last updated: 29/02/2024 12:36

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