Place making: site characterisation

Contaminated land

An advice note has been prepared by the Sussex CIEH Contaminated Land Sub-Group containing useful guidance on how to submit a planning application for land which may be contaminated.

Additional information is available from the council's Environmental Health team via email or by phone 01273 294490.


These are developments which Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 3 on Housing defines as involving previously developed land, e.g. that which 'is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.’

The definition includes defence buildings, but excludes:

  • land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings;
  • land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures;
  • land in built-up areas such as parks, recreation grounds and allotments, which, although it may feature paths, pavilions and other buildings, has not been previously developed; and/or
  • land that was previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape in the process of time (to the extent that it can reasonably be considered as part of the natural surroundings).


These are developments which involve land or a defined site (usually farmland and/or amenity area) that has not previously been developed.

IMPORTANT: Due to changes to PPS3 Housing  (June 2010), development taking place in private residential garden land now constitutes ‘greenfield’ site status.