What the council does about contaminated land

We are putting into force our contaminated land inspection strategy to protect human health, the wider environment and to bring polluted land back into beneficial use.

Assessing contaminated sites

We are required to inspect land in the borough for contamination, under government regulations, which are enforced through Part 2a of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990).

Our contaminated land strategy explains the method we use to do this. We have a specific contaminated land officer to carry out these inspections and provide advice to the council and local residents.

Land that has been inspected and determined as contaminated land under the inspection strategy is placed on a public register. This includes background site information and all the significant pollution linkages together with copies of the determination notices and special site designation notes.

Action on contaminated sites

Where contaminated land is the subject of a redevelopment proposal, we ensure that the site is investigated and cleaned up to a level suitable for the proposed end use. This means that the land does not need to be formally determined as contaminated, because the site must be cleaned up to ensure that there are no risks to the health and safety of the occupants or the wider environment. Many contaminated sites within Cheltenham have been cleaned up in this way.

When a potentially contaminated land site is the subject of re-development proposals, we use our knowledge and land information records and work with the developer to obtain details of previous land uses to identify contaminants that may be present. We have produced a guide called development of potentially contaminated land which describes what a contaminated land investigation report should contain. Most importantly, we approve the action plan to remove unacceptable risks to human health and the environment when developmental work begins. This is called the remediation scheme.

Where redevelopment of contaminated sites is unlikely, the site is prioritised under our contaminated land inspection strategy. Where significant contamination risks are identified, it may be necessary for the council to require the polluter or owner of the site to deal with the contamination. This action would be taken under Part II A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.