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Contaminated land

Contaminated land

The current UK regime for dealing with land contamination identifies the local authority planning process as the primary means by which land identified for development may be required to be screened for the possibility of land contamination being present. Where land put forward for development has a contaminative history the planning process secures its investigation and remediation so that it is suitable for its intended use. The National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (NPPF) indentifies the need for remediating and mitigating despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated and unstable land, where appropriate.

The local authority also has a secondary role in respect of land contamination through Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which places an obligation on all Local Authorities to inspect their district to identify areas of potentially contaminated land. Once identified and prioritised, this land must then be investigated and remediated (cleaned up/ made safe) if necessary. The legislation applies the principle of the "polluter pays" and therefore as part of the research of a site, past owners and occupiers have to be identified.

Not all land that appears to be contaminated necessarily is, and not all land that appears free from contamination necessarily is either.

• To provide advice to Planning and Development Control on matters relating to the development of contaminated land.
• Inspection of the Council's area for the purpose of identifying contaminated land sites and inspecting them on a priority basis.
• To complete and maintain a public register of contaminated land .
• To respond to complaints and requests for service from service users with respect to contaminated land
• To provide advice to all stakeholders on matters regarding contaminated land within the Council's area of responsibility

  • We have developed a comprehensive index of records and digital mapping systems detailing potential contamination within the county. This data has been gained from current Ordnance Survey maps, historical maps as provided by Landmark Information Group Ltd dating back as far as 1855, planning records and aerial photographs.
    The council is able to undertake searches of specific locations and supply information currently held by the council that is specific to your enquiry. The council does not guarantee the accuracy or sufficiency of the information for your purposes in relation to the site you have identified. Nor does the council guarantee that the information is relevant for any specific purposes that you may have in mind in relation to the site. You are advised to undertake your own site searches and other investigations and to analyse the results of those investigations using competent specialist advisors. Within the context of the report no recommendations will be made with respect to the suitability of the land for a specific purpose. The service will only be used to provide environmental information.

Environmental Protection enquiry fees
2019 - 2020
Contaminated land search
£110 for less than one hour
Contaminated land search
£150 for more than one hour
Verified air quality data
£150 per year of real time or diffusion tube data
Petroleum search

£110 for less than one hour


As part of our duties under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 ("the Act) the following sites have been investigated and found to be contaminated for the purposes of section 78A(2) of the Act. It should be noted that the document contents are prescribed by law and is a register of action taken by the council, it is not a register of all the potentially contaminated sites in the county.
Copies of the public register are available for inspection at the relevant area office. Copies can be provided on request however a charge is made. For more details please contact us.

Entry No.
Entry Type
Description of land
Grid reference
Notice of claimed remediation
Talbot Cottage, Hazzards Hill, Mere

ST 816 325

Record of determnation
Former Warminster Gasworks Site, Furnax Lane, Warminster, BA12 8SJ

ST 867 461

Remeditation notice
Scotland Lodge, Cholderton, Salisbury, SP4 0EJ

SU 2016 4292

Notice of determination of contaminated land
Ansty, Edgebridge Mere, BA12 6DB



If you are buying or selling a house then land contamination may have been considered as part of the Conveyancing process. In most cases, contamination will not be an issue but in a minority of situations it may raise itself as a concern in third party search reports. In such cases it is possible through the councils environmental enquiry service to obtain an indication of the contaminated land regulatory status for a given site.


If so then please contact us and let us know. The Council has undertaken a vast data gathering exercise to try and identify all the sites in the Council's area, however we recognise that the best sources of information are those people who have lived in the area for a long time and have seen industry come and go. We would be very grateful for as much information as you can provide us. If you run or are a member of a local historical society then please get in touch as your group may hold information that would be very useful to us.


If you have heating oil tanks, large stores of chemicals or fuels on your property or have had in the past then there is a small chance these could cause contamination of the ground. The seasonal filling of oil storage tanks occasionally gives rise to a loss of oil though tank or line failure, the consequences of which can be time consuming and costly. Contact us for if you would like any more information.


The local authority planning process is the primary means by which land identified for development may be required to be screened for the possibility of land contamination being present. Where land put forward for development has a contaminative history the planning process secures its investigation and remediation such that it is suitable for its intended use; and land should not be capable of determination as contaminated land once a development has been through the Planning process. This is reflected in the advice given in Wiltshire Councils Contaminated Land SPD (currently under review) and the requirements of the Building Regulations 2000.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from very small amounts of Uranium in all rocks and soils. It is present throughout the UK but due to geological and soil conditions it can be present in higher concentrations in certain areas.

The Health Protection Agency and the British Geological Survey have identified areas within the UK where radon levels may be high.  

Often the first you hear about Radon is when you are trying to buy or sell a house and your Solicitor mentions it as part of the conveyancing process. The Health Protection Agency, in conjunction with Defra and the former National Radiological Protection Board has produced a useful booklet and information pack to explain all about radon and what to do if you are concerned about radon affecting a house you are thinking of purchasing.

You can find out more information about radon and order a free information pack.

If you wish to contact the Health Protection Agency they can be contacted at:

Public Health England

Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
Radiation Protection Division
OX11 0RQ

Tel: 01235 831600

Fax: 01235 833891

Email: rpd@hpa-rp.org.uk

We hold records and information in accordance with the Environmental Protection retention policy.  This can be found in the download section.

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Last updated: 13 May 2019 | Last reviewed: 13 May 2019