What is contaminated land?

An area may be labelled as contaminated land if it has the potential to cause significant harm due to substances in, on or under the land, or where there is likely to be pollution of controlled water. The harm may be to human health, plants, property, crops, livestock, ecological systems or ancient monuments and archaeological sites.

Contaminated land searches

We can carry out a contaminated land search on a specific property or site in Cheltenham. Requests should be emailed to [email protected]  with the details of the property/land requiring the search. You will need to make payment of the non-refundable fee before the search can begin:

  • Response within 20 working days - £143.00*
  • Response within 10 working days - £214.00*

If you are seeking a search covering multiple properties, the price is variable. Please contact us for a quote.

To pay the response fee, please pay online.

Pay online


In April 2000, the government introduced new legislation for the identification and treatment of contaminated land.

The aims of this legislation are to:

  • reduce contaminated land risks to an acceptable level
  • bring contaminated land back into beneficial use
  • ensure that the cost of doing so is reasonable and economically sustainable

This legislation gives us a duty to identify contaminated land within the borough through a published inspection strategy, which must be kept under review. In keeping with these requirements, we produced our first Strategy for Contaminated Land Inspection in 2001. A review of the strategy was completed in 2008.

The situation in Cheltenham

Some land within the borough may be contaminated due to past industrial use. As part of its contaminated land inspection strategy, the council is in the process of inspecting sites to see if they present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. Where significant harm has been proven or there is a possibility of significant harm, such land is formally determined as contaminated land.

*Fees apply for the 2020/21 financial year and are subject to change each year.