Contaminated Land Investigation Within The Planning Process

In accordance with DCLG (2012) development of land is required to be carried out in a sustainable manner. Contamination is a material planning consideration and where development is proposed conditions can be attached to any permission granted for development requiring assessment and subsequent management. Remediation schemes can also need planning permission in their own right.

With regards to planned future use, ODPM (2004) requires land owners and/or developers to ensure the proposed development is safe and suitable for use for the purpose for which it is intended.

Conditions attached to planning permission for development sites (both large and small) typically require:-

  • Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment (Desk Study)
  • Site Investigation and Phase 2 Generic/Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment
  • Remediation Strategy
  • Valiation and Closure Report

Therefore the developer is required to determine whether land is suitable for a particular development or can be made so by remedial action. In particular, the developer should carry out an adequate investigation to inform a risk assessment to determine:-

  • Whether the land in question is already affected by contamination through source-pathway-receptor pollutant linkages and how those linkages are represented in a conceptual model.
  • Whether the development proposed will create new linkages (e.g. new pathways by which existing contaminants might reach existing or proposed receptors and whether it will introduce new vulnerable receptors).
  • What action is needed to break those linkages and to avoid new ones, deal with any unacceptable risks and enable safe development and future occupancy of the site and of neighbouring land.

At TGEN our site investigations and risk assessments can be tailored to address the requirements of conditions related to the investigation and subsequent management of potential contamination attached to planning permission granted for development. From large scale commercial developments to small scale residential developments, our investigations can be tailored to meet specific needs. Should you require any further advice or wish to discuss a particular site or project then contact us at