This section contains reference to various actions, duties and guidance documents undertaken and produced within Cheshire East Council's Contaminated Land Section. As well as our duties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 we deal with environmental search requests, conveyancing searches and advise the Council's Planning Department on the provision and discharge of planning conditions relating to contaminated land.
What is Contaminated Land?
Generally land contamination is caused by previous industrial or commercial usage, for example gas works, fuel stations, mining, landfilling. Land can also become contaminated due to its proximity to contaminated areas.
Contamination can occur in a number of forms. It may exist in solid form in soil (for example heavy metals in ash or clinker), as a spillage of fuel which may affect a river or stream or as ground gas (methane and/or carbon dioxide) or fuel vapours.
Contamination does not occur solely as a result of human activities and land can be contaminated as a result of its natural state. For example, marsh gas can cause a contamination problem, particularly in areas which are occupied by moss/peat land.
Assessing whether any such contamination or the likelihood of contamination being present is significant depends on a number of factors and areas of legislation.
Even though contamination may be present on a site, it may not be significant unless the use or state of the site changes or contaminants are disturbed or mobilised.
Contamination can be addressed voluntarily within the Planning regime or by legislation within the Environmental Protecton Act 1990.
It is advised that suitably qualified and experienced professionals are engaged to address contaminated land issues.