Brownfield Development - Contaminated Land

There are thousands of acres of derelict and disused commercial and industrial sites in the UK.  Such sites will now be registered within local councils and, it is claimed that, new measures will be put in place to allow developers to seriously consider these sites for new builds.

For investors and developers who wish to take the ever more popular step of purchasing and developing Brownfield Sites, the subject of contamination on site will need to be addressed.

Contaminated Land is defined by the Government and deemed to be land that has such a level of pollutants either on top or under the ground surface that it may cause significant or serious harm to human health or water.

At the onset of a project a developer would have commissioned an SIR (Site Investigation Report) or a GIR (Ground Investigation Report) by an accredited company.  An element of these reports will show a soil analysis which will show the level of contamination. Where contamination is thought to cause risk to human health or controlled waters, it would be necessary to excavate and dispose of the material in order to remove all risk / remove the legacy of the contamination from the site.  However, it is also possible to remediate the soil on site if there is time and room to do so.

It is the responsibility of the waste producer (developer) to correctly classify their waste and to ensure that, when it isn’t feasible to retain the material on site – a permitted site is chosen for the disposal of the waste.  Ideally a soil treatment facility to ensure that the legacy of the contamination is not moved onto landfill.