Contaminated land is caused by waste disposal activities and land that is or has been used for industry. These uses may have inadvertently polluted the land. For land to be called contaminated it has to be proven there is a significant risk to either humans, wildlife or water resources.
Dealing with contaminated land
Coventry City Council has the duty under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to identify sites that have the potential to be contaminated. The Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance requires the local authority to produce and publish a strategy to identify and investigate potentially contaminated within its district. Coventry 's strategy has been updated in 2012 and is available to download here or via the link on the right.
If one of the sites identified through the strategy is to be redeveloped through the planning process specific conditions are placed on the planning permission. These conditions are designed to ensure the contamination is investigated and cleaned up to a suitable level. The council is not responsible for the clean up or any costs involved. The investigation and clean up should be carried out by a professional consultancy. All documentation regarding a planning application is available to view free of charge via our planning portal.
Unfortunately regulations that sufficiently dealt with contaminated land only came into force in the mid 1990s. This means there are a number of potentially contaminated sites within Coventry for which there is no information to what level the site was cleaned up, if at all. To ensure there is no risk to human health the council has the obligation to investigate these sites with the highest priority dealt with first. The Environmental Protection Team has investigated a large number of these sites, none of which have been proven to be a risk to human health, water resources or the environment.
Environmental Information Regulations
The status of a site under Part IIA potentially has huge consequences on the land value. To avoid unnecessary property blight the council is not required to publish our list of potentially contaminated land sites. Occasionally parties (i.e. mortgage lenders) interested in a particular property or piece of land require information on the councils contaminated land view. This is generally to assess the potential liability that may affect the value.
These requests fall under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Under these regulations the council may charge for officer's time in preparing the report.