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Contaminated land

Contaminated land containing substances in, on, or under it and which is causing unacceptable risks to human health or to the wider environment.

Because of the long history of industrial activities throughout the UK many sites have been affected by contamination. Examples of these industries include mining, manufacturing, chemical processing, fuel storage and waste disposal.

Over a period of time any such activity has the potential to contaminate land to some extent. However, the mere presence of contamination on land does not necessarily mean there is a problem. There has to be a contaminant-pathway-receptor linkage in place before the risk needs to be considered as being unacceptable or not.

Requesting information about contaminated land

We hold a diverse range of records relevant to the condition of land for specific sites across the district. These records include information which we have collected over time and information that has been obtained from third parties.

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 requires all local authorities to make records that are not exempt, available to the public.

Information which falls under the Environmental Information Regulations can be requested online or viewed free of charge, preferably by prior appointment, during office hours at our offices in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. 

When you request information on contaminated land you'll need to give us:

  • your name and address for reply to be sent
  • the subject site name, address or Ordnance Survey grid reference
  • a location plan showing area of interest edged red
  • a copy of any “failed” Environmental Search report.

Request information

The type of environmental information which could be provided includes:

  • extracts from ground investigation reports for reference purposes
  • remediation works and final validation reports
  • Part 2A public register entries
  • confirmation whether or not a particular site has been included for further inspection under Part 2A
  • information relating to known landfills within the district
  • basic geological information
  • private water supply records
  • pollution Prevention and Control Act records
  • any other additional information relating to land condition which may be of assistance

It should be noted that available information is restricted to that which is held or known by us. In certain circumstances requested information may not be available, should it be work-in-hand, form part of an ongoing investigation or of a confidential nature.

Contaminated land inspection strategy

Statutory Guidance has been issued to councils to take a strategic approach to inspect its land for the purpose of identifying contaminated land (Section 78B of the Environmental Protection Act 1990).

For the definition of contaminated land visit the DEFRA or Environment Agency websites.

Through this guidance we are required to publish a strategy setting out how we will undertake the inspection of land within Ashfield. This strategy details how we will take a rational, ordered and efficient approach to this inspection.

The initial Contaminated Land Strategy for Ashfield District Council was published in July 2001. A revised version of the strategy was published in 2007. A copy of the strategy can be downloaded from the related documents section. Any questions or general comments on our strategy are welcomed. 

This inspection is a significant responsibility which extends existing duties under the Environmental Protection Act (statutory nuisance) and Town & Country Planning Act (development control). The main duties include:

  • to cause the area of the local authority to be inspected
  • to identify all potentially contaminated sites
  • to determine whether any particular site is contaminated land
  • to determine whether any such land should be designated as being a Special Site (whereby the Environment Agency become the enforcing authority)
  • to act as enforcing authority for contaminated land not designated as being a Special Site.

Our priorities in dealing with contaminated land are:

  • protection of human health
  • protection of controlled waters
  • protection of designated ecosystems
  • prevention of damage to property
  • prevention of further land contamination
  • to encourage voluntary remediation in preference to taking formal enforcement action.
  • to encourage the beneficial re-use of brownfield sites.

In addition we are required to hold a register of all land within Ashfield which has been determined as being contaminated land. You can find these registers in the related documents section of this web page. 

Other ways to contact us about information on contaminated land

If you can't make your request online, you'd like to make an appointment to view the records at our offices, or have a comment on our inspection strategy you can contact us by: