Contaminated land is caused by pollution from waste disposal activities or industry that has been on the land. For land to be called contaminated it has to be proved that there is a significant risk to either humans, wildlife or water resources.
By law the Council must identify sites that could become 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 on any planning permission. These conditions are designed to make sure 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 regarding a planning application are available to view free of charge through our planning portal.
Unfortunately regulations to deal properly with contaminated land only came into force in the mid 1990s. This means there are a number of potentially contaminated sites in Coventry, with no details of how the land was cleaned up. 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 which have been found to be a risk to human health, water resources or the environment.
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.