Advice on contaminated land requirements for planning applications

Find out the information you may need include about contaminated land in your planning application.

Planning requirements

We have conditions we may attach through the planning process to make sure sites that may be contaminated are developed safely.

For more information, check our contaminated land page.

If you need a contaminated land consultant, the SiLC (Specialist in Land Condition) register may be able to help. 

Phased contaminated land condition

Where development is proposed on or near land that is considered potentially contaminated, we will probably recommend a phased contaminated land condition.

At the very least this you will need to complete and send us a desk top study, which will look at historical uses of the site and surrounding sites in terms of what possible contaminants those uses could have caused, and how that may affect the proposed end use. 

If the desk top study identifies significant potential contaminant linkages or areas of uncertainty, we will need to do further investigation on site. This will mean an intrusive investigation of the site, based on the risks identified by the desk top study and conceptual site model.

If the results of the site investigation show the site is contaminated, a detailed scheme for remediation of the site will need to be submitted and agreed by us.

If remediation takes place, a validation report will also need to be submitted to prove that the agreed work has been done and the site is fit for its intended use before the site can be occupied.

Discovery strategy

Where development is proposed on or next to land that has a very low risk of being potentially contaminated, we may recommend a discovery strategy.

This requires an agreement that if any contamination be discovered during the construction process, work must stop until a method statement for dealing with the contamination has been agreed with us.

This condition may also accompany a phased condition in order to cover those instances where the phased condition is signed off at desktop stage, but contamination is later found during construction. 

Asbestos within the building structure

For proposals to convert buildings built before 1985 to residential use, there are concerns that asbestos may be contained within the structure. 

Any active commercial premises should already have an asbestos risk register in line with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. As a minimum, this will need to be submitted with an application for conversion.

If the register says that there is likely to be asbestos in the property, further investigation, and possibly a remediation strategy will also be required to protect future residents.

While asbestos may have been managed in premises with commercial use, this is not usually appropriate for residents, as they can not be expected to keep track of asbestos locations or integrity.