Contaminated land is a legal term defined by the government for land or soil that contains substances which could cause harm to people, buildings or the environment. The contamination tends to come from historic industrial land use, such as factories, industrial processing sites, mines, etc but can also result from previously built up ground (made ground) during the development of historic sites. Some assessment of/for contaminated land is usually required as part of the planning condition process, with the range of contamination including but not limited to heavy metals, oils, solvents, gases, asbestos, pesticides and radioactive substances etc.
Current UK guidance requires developers, operators and landowners to:
- prevent new contamination and if it occurs, clean it up quickly
- manage existing land contamination
- seek specialist advice, if required
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