Developing on contaminated land

Developing on brownfield sites (previously used land) is a key priority of the government’s regeneration policy.

Brownfield land may have been contaminated by processes that were previously undertaken on the land, for example a site may have formed part of a works. 

Government policy states that if possible, contaminated land should be remediated via the planning process, with the cost being met by the developer instead of through the contaminated land regime (Part 2A)

The government's planning guidance on contaminated land is set out in National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

  • It states that land contamination is a material planning consideration. This means that any potentially contaminated land passing through the planning process should be dealt with at that time to ensure that it poses no unacceptable risks to future occupiers or the wider environment and that the new development is appropriate for its location.

The NPPF states that where there are contamination issues, it is the developer’s and/or land owner's responsibility to ensure that the development is safe. 

In accordance with current best practice the council advises that, where any contamination is known or suspected or the proposed use would be particularly vulnerable (such as housing with gardens, schools, nurseries, allotments, children’s play areas and playing fields etc), information should be submitted with the application to allow the Local Planning Authority to determine whether the development can proceed.

When is it necessary to submit information in support of planning applications?

Information on what is required and what would be appropriate for different situations is provided in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pollution Advisory Group YALPAG (formally YAHPAC ) Technical Guidance Documents in the downloads & resource section.

The YALPAG documents are derived and adopted by over 30 local authorities across the region, their purpose is to:-

  • promote consistency and good practice for development on land affected by contamination and
  • provide developers, landowners and consultants with a general guide as to what is expected with regard to land contamination should they choose to develop a site.

It also provides information on how to complete the 1 APP planning application form and what the minimum requirements are for a contaminated land assessment.

What happens next?

After reviewing the information that has been submitted as part of the planning application, Pollution Control may advise that contaminated land conditions are attached to a decision notice.

This allows planning permission to be granted for an application and it ensures that any contamination that is or may be present is investigated and remediated properly. Once we are satisfied that this has been completed the Planning Officer may discharge the conditions.

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Last updated: 24 May 2024 10:34:43

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