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The Environmental Protection Act 1990, part 11A, requires that all local authorities inspect their areas for the purpose of identifying contaminated land. Stratford-on-Avon District Council adopted a strategy in 2001 setting out how it would undertake this task and in what timescale.
There are four possible grounds that determine if land is contaminated:
Some typical uses of land in our area with potential for causing contamination are:
When land is contaminated it might pose a risk to the environment or people. Some of the common causes of contamination are:
The potential risks of contaminated land need to be taken into account when planning a development since contamination is a material planning consideration. Most potentially contaminated sites can be developed without risk of harm to people or the environment if they are cleaned up.
A Phase I Desk Study report must be submitted with the planning application if:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council Environmental Health and Licensing team have adopted technical guidance documents produced by YALPAG (Yorkshire and Lancashire Pollution Advisory Group) to assist developers, landowners and consultants.
The Investigation, Assessment and Clean-Up of Land Contamination
This helpful document specifies what information should be submitted to the Local Planning Authority. All aspects of investigations into possible land contamination should follow the guidelines within Land Contamination: Risk Management (Environment Agency, 2020), in line with current best practice. Failure to comply with this guidance is likely to result in delays in your planning application being processed or in your planning application being refused.
When considering remediation of a site you may also need to show you have taken appropriate steps to protect people from contamination by using gas protection systems or using a cover system consisting of imported or reused soils. The following notes can help with this:
Verification Requirements for Cover Systems
This technical guidance has been produced to help developers ensure that they can demonstrate that material brought onto a development site for gardens or areas of soft landscaping are suitable for use and do not present harm to people, the environment and/or property.
Verification Requirements for Gas Protection Systems
This guidance has been produced to help developers ensure that they can demonstrate that gas protection systems are appropriate for the development and level of risk associated with a site and that they have been installed correctly.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council took the decision to downgrade its approach to contaminated land in light of both the 2007 Rogers Review and the subsequent Audit Commission decision to remove the requirement for investigation of potentially contaminated land from the Government's national indicator system.
The Rogers Review was carried out in 2007 to set the national enforcement priorities for local authorities; among its many recommendations was that investigating potentially contaminated land was not a national consideration.
The council continues to:
However, the council will not, in the foreseeable future, carry out any proactive site investigations.
Many properties within the district are served by domestic heating oil tanks usually situated in garden areas. Leaks from domestic tanks usually emanate from either the tank, the fittings/valves or the supply line into the property. Leaks can be gradual over time or sudden single events.
The impact of a fuel leak can vary from site to site and in some cases, large spillages of oil can have serious implications for: human health, ground water, surface water and general wildlife. These implications make it imperative for users of heating oil to maintain and monitor the condition of their heating oil tanks.
In the event of a loss of fuel being noted, the following action is recommended (where safe to do so):
Taking action quickly will stop or minimise pollution and will reduce clean up costs. Please be aware that the responsibility for land remediation following a spill ultimately lies with the landowner. The landowner is responsible for incurring costs and contacting the appropriate organisations. Failure to take action could lead to enforcement action against the home or land owner being taken by the Local Authority or Environment Agency under Part 2A of the Environment Protection Act 1990, the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (England) Regulations 2015 or the Water Resources Act 1991.
Certain information relating to regulatory action and remediation, if any, must be kept on a public register.
There is a charge of £105 for searches of the information that we hold on potentially contaminated sites. If you require a report please request it via email using the details below.