GOV – Land Contamination

Thousands of sites have been contaminated by previous industrial use, often associated with traditional processes which are no longer used. These sites may present a hazard to the general environment, but there is a growing need to reclaim and redevelop.

What is land contamination?

The term ‘Land Contamination’ covers a wide range of situations where land is contaminated in some way. In a small number of these situations where certain criteria are met, a site might be determined ‘contaminated land’ which has a specific legal definition set out in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act.

All over the UK, there are thousands of sites that have been contaminated by previous use. Often this is associated with industrial processes or activities that have now ceased, but where waste products or remaining residues present a hazard to the general environment.

There is increasing pressure to reuse land which is affected by contamination rather than develop greenfield sites such as parks or woodland.

For further guidance: