Contaminated land and the council
What does the council do?
We have a requirement to assess our borough to identify the presence of potentially contaminated land, this process is on-going, however our initial assessments have been completed now and we are at the stage where we are investigating further potentially contaminated sites within our borough.
This assessment will be on going and could take several years to complete per site. We are adopting a phased approach with the assessment starting with undertaking a desk study (Phase 1) using historical data and historical mapping.
Should it be deemed necessary an intrusive site investigation (Phase 2) may be needed to take environmental samples from the ground, and measure ground gas levels to ascertain the contamination status of a site. If the land is identified which poses a risk of significant harm or the pollution of controlled waters we may instigate appropriate enforcement action to clean up the land, to protect our residents and the wider environment (Phase 3).
As well as the primary legislation, revised statutory guidance was issued to local authorities by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in April 2012 entitled 'Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part 2A Contaminated Land Statutory guidance' ' (PDF document [913.2Kb]). The council must have regard to this guidance when fulfilling its duties.
Every local authority in England, of which Reigate & Banstead is one, is required to prepare, implement and keep under periodic review a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy. The Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy (PDF document [588.5Kb]) was revised in July 2015. The strategy was amended to reflect the recent withdrawal of DEFRA's funding to Local Authorities for Contaminated Land investigations and subsequent clean up work, statutory guidance updates, overall investigation progress made by the council and to satisfy the requirement for periodic review.
Summary of the council’s main duties under the Part 2A:
- To cause its area to be inspected from “time to time” for the purpose of identifying contaminated land
- Determine whether any particular site is contaminated land and designate special sites giving due regard to the advice of the Environment Agency
- Act as the enforcing authority for all contaminated land which is not designated as a “special site”
- Establish who should bear responsibility for remediation- of a given piece of land
- Maintain a public register of regulatory action taken to deal with contaminated land.
Part 2A Public Register
The council is required to produce and maintain a public register of any lands within our borough that have been designated as contaminated land, as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Currently there are no entries on the public register. This webpage is regularly maintained and if any entries are made they will be shown on this webpage usually within 48 hours of formal entry.