Contaminated land

What is contaminated land

Contaminated land is land that has been polluted and potentially may be unfit for safe development and usage unless the affected land is treated or removed first.

Contamination of the land, in most cases, has arisen from the previous industrial and commercial use of the land or from major waste deposits.



How we deal with contaminated land 

The council has two methods to deal with the legacy of contaminated land: 

1. Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 is the legal framework for dealing with contaminated land. The Council has to publish an Inspection Strategy to show how it identifies land in the borough where contamination is causing unacceptable risks to human health and the wider environment.  

You can check if a property has been formally determined as contaminated land or if it has a previous industrial use. We charge £110 for residential searches and £160 for commercial searches to cover the cost of time spent searching records and preparing the response. 

If you require a search to be carried out for your property, please contact the Pollution Control Team on 020 8770 5000 or email The charge can be paid online.

2. The planning and development control process ensures that when developments are carried out on a brownfield site, the new development is safe and suitable for its new use.  

For a development where risks from contaminated land have been identified, planning conditions will be added to a planning permission to ensure the new development is fit for its use. 

The guide for developers to ensure that they meet the planning requirements  is for property owners, developers, architects, builders and surveyors who want to know what information they should submit to the planning department when they want to develop on potentially contaminated land.