Understanding the effect of potentially contaminated land on a proposed new development is becoming higher on the agenda of planners.
At agb Environmental, we have seen a real increase of cases where planning applications have been rejected by planning committees based on a lack of understanding of the potential for contamination at the site.
A number of Local Authorities do not require a contaminated land assessment in order to validate planning applications and instead they typically prefer to use the planning conditions. However the need for a contaminated land assessment at application stage is becoming more prevalent.
Council’s typically have a very simplistic criteria for when a contaminated land assessment is required. These may include:
- Building on previously developed land.
- Converting to sensitive land uses (such as residential).
- Building multiple residential units.
Expectations and approaches to contaminated land assessments amongst councils vary significantly too. Some councils will condition each step of a contaminated land assessment, requiring each stage to be discharged separately. Whereas others are happy to consider the assessment based on the information gathered to date.
The net result is confusion, especially for those with developments across multiple Local Authority boundaries.
The good news is that agb Environmental has significant experience of dealing with both contaminated land planning conditions, as well as the assessment of contamination itself. We therefore act as your guide to the process, and not just the technical report.