Contaminated land is generally caused by pollution from industrial activities or waste disposal sites (landfills). For land to be called contaminated, it has to be proven that there is a significant risk to either humans, wildlife or water resources.
By law the Council must identify sites that could be classed as contaminated. The Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance says the Council must produce and publish a plan to identify and investigate potentially contaminated land within its district. Read Coventry's strategy.
If one of the sites identified is to be redeveloped, there will be conditions placed on the planning permission. These conditions 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 documents relating to planning applications are available to view free of charge through our planning portal.
Regulation of contaminated land only came into force in the mid-1990s. This means there are a number of sites that were redeveloped without contaminated land planning conditions. As such there are no details of how the land was cleaned up, if at all. To protect people's health, the Council must investigate these sites with the highest priority dealt with first.
The Environmental Protection Team has investigated a large number of these sites. None of these sites has been proven to be a risk to human health, water resources or the environment under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To date there are no, nor have there been any Part IIA contaminated land entries made on our contaminated land public register (as of January 2016).
The Council does not have to publish the list of potentially contaminated land sites. Sometimes people such as mortgage lenders ask to see the records. These requests fall under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Under these regulations the Council may charge for officers' time in preparing the report.