Contaminated land

Under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (1990), local authorities have a statutory duty to identify, inspect and if necessary, secure the remediation of historically contaminated sites within their area. For further information on Part 2A visit the Welsh Government website.

Under Part 2A local authorities have a duty to produce a contaminated land inspection strategy.

Development plans and planning applications

The Local Planning Authority (LPA) has a duty to consider potential contamination when preparing development plans and considering planning applications. The LPA consults the authorities Pollution Control section of Environmental Health when processing applications. The department has to be satisfied that developing the potentially contaminated land will not introduce, allow, or create unacceptable risks.

Developers should submit adequate information with their planning application to determine the risks from contamination to satisfy the LPA that there is a viable remediation option for the site. Reports for the site should be prepared in accordance with the following guidelines:

Contaminated Land Developers Guide (PDF)

Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance for Wales 2012

Environmental Damage Regulations 2010

Environmental damage regulations have been designed to ensure that the environment is fully protected against the most serious types of environmental damage. The regulations force polluters to prevent and remedy environmental damage that they have caused.

Note: The regulations came into force on the 1st March 2009 and are only applicable to environmental damage caused after they came into force.

Types of environmental damage covered by the regulations

Damage to water, land and biodiversity which includes:

  • serious damage to surface or ground water
  • contamination of land where there is a significant risk to human health
  • serious damage to EU protected natural habitats and species
  • serious damage to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

Environmental damage regulations affect:

  • private businesses
  • farming
  • manufacturing
  • construction and demolition
  • waste management
  • forestry
  • public sector – schools, hospitals, government departments and agencies
  • charitable and voluntary organizations

Note: Residential premises are exempt from the Environmental Damage regulations.

If there is a risk of damage from you or your business activities, you must prevent such damage occurring. If you or your activities threaten to cause, or have caused, environmental damage you must:

  • Take steps to prevent the damage (or further damage) occurring
  • Inform the Natural Resources Wales or Local Authority who will tell you what you must do to prevent and/or remedy the damage.

If the Natural Resources Wales or the Local Authority has to remedy the damage caused by you, you will be liable for associated costs.

The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 - Guidance for England and Wales

Reporting issues

If you have a query or issue in relation to contaminated land, please contact us.