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 search enquiries

Solicitors or homeowners may contact the council to see whether they hold information relating to contamination at a specific property or site. The current fees for the 2018/2019 financial year are:

Contaminated land and pollution search Fee (inc VAT) Response time
Standard service £135.99 20 working days
Expedited service £203.99 10 working days

For larger scale searches, the fee will vary from those in the table above. Contact us using the details below for a quote.

How do I request a search?

Requests should be emailed to envhealth@cheltenham.gov.uk.  You will need to include the details of the property/land requiring the search and you will need to make payment of the stated fee before the seach can begin,


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.