Over the years land has been used for many different industrial and commercial activities. Some of these processes used or produced substances that could cause harm to health or the environment if they are allowed to contaminate the site.
We are required by law to maintain a register of contaminated land sites where formal action has been taken (as defined in the legislation).
Further information about contaminated land can be found at the Gov.uk website.
As a council, we must inspect the area for potentially contaminated land. If any sites are found to be contaminated, as defined in legislation, we will consult the people responsible for the contamination with the aim of achieving a voluntary clean-up of the site. If this approach does not work then we have the power to take legal action requiring the necessary work to be carried out.
We have produced a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy. This sets out the Council's approach to identifying potential contaminated land. If a site is identified the responsibility for remediation will fall to the polluter or the owner of the land.
Reviews of the Strategy have been produced. The most recent one is Inspection Strategy review 2013.
We are also consulted by Taunton Deane planning department on issues which include providing advice about the likelihood of contamination on a site and reviewing information that is provided by developers. On any potentially contaminated site the developer is responsible for providing a site investigation and risk assessment and, if any remedial works are carried out, these must ensure the site is suitable for the proposed use.
We have produced a guide for developers which gives some information on what is required.
The Regulations (Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) make it a duty for this Authority to identify 'land from time to time' meeting the definition and also to identify those most pressing and urgent sites first.