What is "contaminated land"?
"Contaminated land" is defined within Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and, in very general terms, means land which is so heavily contaminated that it poses a real risk to health or harm to the environment.
What is the Council's role in respect of land contamination?
The Council has a duty under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to identify any land which fits the definition of contaminated land and take appropriate action to ensure that the contamination is properly dealt with.
This primarily involves ensuring that the new brownfield site developments are dealt with proactively in order to prevent unacceptable risks occurring. In practice, this entails providing technical advice to the Council's planning officers in respect of potentially contaminated sites which are intended for development. In addition, the Council is responsible for investigating contamination problems that come to light and, where appropriate, ensuring the clean-up of such sites.
Contaminated land strategy
The Council's approach to dealing with land contamination issues is detailed in a contaminated land strategy (which is available in the downloads section at the bottom of this page).
Development on potentially contaminated land
Controls to prevent land contamination risks may be applied by means of planning conditions. Where it is considered that significant contamination may be present due to the past use of a site, then a site investigation will be necessary as part of the development control system. If significant contamination is found or suspected then remediation will be required prior to the re-development of that site.
Where planning consent is not required under the building regulations relating to certain contamination issues might still apply. For further information or advice about building regulations requirements please contact the Building Control Unit.
In order to assist developers, agents and consultants who are involved in the re-development of brownfield sites, informal guidance entitled `Development on Potentially Contaminated Land' has been produced by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Contaminated Land Liaison Group (a group comprising of Local Authority Environmental Health Officers). This document is available in the downloads at the bottom of this page.
Requests for environmental information
Requests for environmental information held by the Council's Environmental Protection Team will be dealt with in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
In order that the request is not misunderstood, you may be asked to confirm your request in writing. We may also ask for clarification or your request and, in some cases, seek your agreement to provide information in a slightly different format from that requested.
For all written requests for information, you can normally expect acknowledgement of receipt by telephone or email within 3 days, or by letter within 5 days. At the same time you will be given an indication or any charge to be made and the likely timescale for responding in full. If it appears that we do not hold the requested information, but we believe that another authority may do, then we will advice you of this fact and request that you reapply to that authority instead.
Charges will be in accordance with the Council's adopted charging scheme and, in most cases, we request advance payment by cheque (payable to Test Valley Borough Council). We aim to answer all queries within 10 working days of receipt of any payment which may apply. However, in exceptional circumstances, the timescale may be longer, but unlikely to be more than 20 working days. You will be provided with a receipt for any payment made.
It is possible that we will not be able to verify the accuracy of the information requested. In particular, this may apply to some records concerning land contamination issues. If this is the case, then you will be informed of this in the response.
Under certain limited circumstances, we may feel obliged to refuse to supply information held in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. You have the right to make a written representation to Test Valley Borough Council within 40 working days if you consider that the Council has failed to comply with any of the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. To do this, you should write to the Complaints Monitoring Officer at Test Valley Borough Council, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3AJ, or complete the on-line complaint form that can be found on this website. If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right under Regulation18 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 to complain to the Information Commissioner. There is no charge for making such complaints.
If you require any further information, please contact:
Environmental Protection Team
Telephone: 01264 368000