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Contaminated Land Assessments2024-07-22T14:42:11+01:00

Contaminated Land Assessments

Understanding Contaminated Land

Contaminated land is defined as any site containing substances that could be harmful to human health or the environment. Contamination can arise from past industrial activities, such as those at petrol stations, gas works, oil depots, and factories. Identifying and addressing these risks is crucial for safe land development and use.

contaminated land assessment
Contaminated Land Risk Assessment

The Importance of Contaminated Land Assessments

Contaminated land assessments are essential for:

  • Determining the presence and extent of contamination.
  • Evaluating risks to future site users and the environment.
  • Meeting regulatory requirements and obtaining planning permission.
  • Informing remediation and mitigation strategies.

Without a comprehensive contaminated land risk assessment, developments may face delays, increased costs, or legal challenges. Our assessments ensure that your project complies with local authority requirements and environmental regulations.

What is the first step of a contaminated land investigation?2024-07-16T14:06:37+01:00

You’ll need a contaminated land specialist to complete a Phase 1 Desk Study.  Desk studies review the history of a site, going back 100 to 150 years to see if previous uses may present risks that could affect present or future users of the site.

What happens once the phase 1 desk study is complete?2024-07-16T14:07:58+01:00

We find that in most cases the phase 1 risk assessment is sufficient to satisfy the Local Authority/Building Control  that the risks are sufficiently low and no further work is required.

Once the local authority has reviewed the report, they will either discharge the planning condition or alternatively, request further data collection,  a phase 2 site investigation or remediation/mitigation.


How long does a Phase 1 Desk Study take?2024-07-16T14:09:33+01:00

A Phase 1 Desk Study will typically take 5-7 business days depending on if a site walkover is required.  If a site walkover is required then delivery will usually be 5-7 days following the walkover.

How do I know if I need a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Assessment?2024-07-16T14:10:54+01:00

You should always understand legacy issues relating to the land you are looking to develop or change the end-use of.  Typically, you should commission a desk-study if:

You’re Developing a site (Planning Consent)
Before any development can proceed the local authority generally requires a desk study/preliminary risk assessment to be completed for planning permission to be granted. The phase 1 desk study information is shared with Planning Departments, Contaminated Land Officers (CLO), the local Environmental Regulator, and Building Control Departments.

You’re Buying or selling a commercial/industrial property (Due Diligence)
Before completion of property transactions, we recommend undertaking a desk study to ensure that any previous use of the site and potential risk of contamination is identified and evaluated. This helps buyers make informed decisions regarding potential liabilities associated with the property.

What is a site walkover? Do I need one?2023-07-27T17:31:02+01:00

A site walkover is conducted by a qualified and experienced Contaminated Land Consultant.  IKM will visit your site to check and verify the current condition of the land. Our consultant will take photos to create a record of the site’s condition.  We’ll provide observations which will form part of the phase 1 environmental report.  Many Local Authorities specify that this walkover must be undertaken by an independent and qualified person, rather than the landowner.

How do I know if I need a site walkover?

You should refer to your planning decision notice. If you are unsure, IKM are happy to review the planning condition during a free 15 minute consultation.

Planning conditions do not always reference a site walkover, however to ensure a thorough investigation and assessment is made, we recommend undertaking one.  Typical sites that require a walkover can include land with current or former industrial uses, petrol stations, car parks and garages (commercial and residential).

Will IKM liaise with my local authority?2023-07-27T17:38:03+01:00

Yes, one of IKM’s consultants will contact the Contaminated Land Officer at the relevant local authority to discuss your site and any relevant conditions or requests for additional information/areas of concern.

Local Authority Land Planning Conditions – are they all the same?2023-07-27T17:46:44+01:00

In general, the demands from most local authority contaminated land departments are similar and in line with CLR11 planning guidance.

However, we have also experienced certain local authorities that have specific requirements or data to be included within the Phase 1 report.  You should be aware that if this is the case, the authority can take up to 20-30 working days to respond.

There is no contamination on my site – why do I need a report?2023-07-27T18:02:34+01:00

Unless you have previously undertaken a historical assessment it can be hard to guarantee that no contamination exists on your site.  Some Local Authorities require that a phase 1 desk study is submitted with each and every application to confirm that there is no risk of contamination being present.

More commonly the report is requested to support the discharge of a planning condition. This condition will have been added at the request of the Contaminated Land or Building Control teams because records held by the local authority give them reason to believe there are historic uses which may have caused contamination.

Your proposal for the future use of the site is also a factor in determining planning conditions.  For example, if your land has previously been used for commercial use and you’re proposed to change the end-use to a residential site, then this is a more sensitive end-use that requires more consideration in respect of potential contamination.

Comprehensive Contaminated Land Assessments

At IKM Consulting, we specialise in providing thorough contaminated land assessments to identify and manage potential risks associated with land contamination. Our expert contaminated land specialists SiLC, RSoBRA, and ASoBRA accredited, and conduct detailed contaminated land surveys and risk assessments to ensure the safety and compliance of your site.

Our team can provide technical input to master planning or the detailed design process to optimise land value and discharge planning conditions.

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