Like many other urban areas in the UK, Gloucester has had a long and proud industrial history. This industrial past, along with more recent activities, can sometimes cause contamination of the ground, which, if not properly dealt with, can pose a risk to public health and the environment.
The type of contamination varies from site to site, and is not always visible, and may include fuels and oils, solvents, heavy metals, asbestos, buried wastes or hazardous ground gases and vapours.
Response to land contamination
The Council tackles land contamination in three ways:
- Through the Planning Process: Planning applications are checked to see if they are situated on land known or suspected to have a potentially contaminative former use. Where necessary conditions are applied requiring the developer to carry out an investigation of the site, and carry out remediation (clean-up) if contamination is found. Remediation must be to a standard that makes the land suitable for the proposed development.
- Through the Inspection Strategy: Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act places a duty on all local authorities to inspect their area to identify contaminated land and ensure it is properly cleaned-up. The Council has produced an Inspection Strategy setting-out how it intends to carry out its duties under this legislation.
- Through Prevention: The Council has a duty to regulate several industries and activities which could give rise to further land contamination. We work closely with our various regulatory partners, including the Environment Agency, to prevent new contamination being caused, or to require clean-up by the responsible polluter.
Land contamination information
A range of information relating to land contamination is available from the Council, and other source:
- The Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy (Ref: CL-01, second periodic revision 2009) details how the Council undertakes the identification, prioritisation and inspection of potentially contaminated land.
- The Council’s document: The Development of Potentially Contaminated Land, Informal Advice for Developers and their Advisors (Ref: CL-02, 2006) offers advice to those involved in the development of potentially contaminated sites.
- The Council’s document: Information and Guidance for Homeowners and Prospective Homebuyers Affected by Potential Land Contamination (Ref: CL-04, 2006) offers advice to residents buying or selling property affected by potential land contamination.
- The Council maintains a Public Register of Contaminated Land, detailing all sites that have been officially determined to be contaminated land within the Part 2A legal framework. The register exists in electronic form, and requests to view the register should be made to the Council’s Contaminated Land Officer.
- The Council also maintains a database of ‘sites identified as potentially having a potentially contaminative use’, detailing all sites known or suspected by the Council as having a current or former potentially contaminative use. The database exists in electronic form, and enquiries regarding specific sites or properties should be made to the Council’s Contaminated Land Officer.
- A list of Frequently Asked Questions about Land Contamination (revised 2013) has been produced by the City Council.
Public Register of Contaminated Land
Additional information about land contamination in the UK is available from a number of websites, including: