Land contamination

Amber Valley has a rich industrial history, but this has left areas of land which may contain substances in the ground that have the potential to cause harm to human health and the wider environment.

Amber Valley Borough Council deals with land contamination through the planning process and statutory regimes.

Planning and development control

Many sites in Amber Valley have been investigated and cleaned up through the planning process.

We assess planning applications against available information and recommend whether further consideration and/or planning conditions are required to address contamination. We then liaise with developers and their agents to ensure that all conditions are met and discharged.

This ensures that once a development has been through the planning process the land is suitable for its intended use; and should not be capable of determination as contaminated land.

Contaminated land

The term “contaminated land” has a specific definition under Section 78A(2) of Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

"any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land that -

  • a) significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
  • b) significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused.”

The presence of contaminating substances in itself does not mean that land meets the definition of contaminated land. In order for a site to be determined as contaminated land under the Part 2A legislation, there has to be a significant “pollution linkage” which only occurs if all three of the following elements are present:-

  • A contaminant – a substance that is in, on or under the land and has the potential to cause harm or to cause pollution of controlled waters
  • A receptor – in general terms, something that could be adversely affected by a contaminant, such as people, an ecological system, property, or a water body
  • A pathway – a route or means by which a receptor can be exposed to, or affected by a contaminant

Investigations required to determine a site as contaminated land are lengthy and complex, and only land where unacceptable risks are clearly identified merits detailed individual inspection under the Part 2A legislation. We publish a contaminated land strategy which says how we will find contaminated sites in Amber Valley.

Contaminated land strategy

The Amber Valley Borough Council strategy for the inspection of contaminated land was developed in 2002. We are currently preparing a revision which will review the progress on the 2002 strategy and update the strategy to reflect 2012 guidance and the consequence of the withdrawal of funding for investigation of sites.

Contaminated land register

The part 2A public register serves as a permanent record of all regulatory action undertaken to ensure the remediation of any site which has been determined as contaminated land.

Requests for information

On request, the environment unit will undertake a search of its records for information it may hold about a particular site or its immediate vicinity.

A site-specific search should be addressed to:

Environment unit (operations)
Town Hall
Ripley
Derbyshire
DE5 3BT

Or email envadmin@ambervalley.gov.uk

And should:

Contain a map clearly marking the boundary of the land under question.

  • Contain copies of any information you already hold (e.g. commercial site search)
  • Be reasonable and specific in the questions asked e.g. "is the council aware of any land within 250 metres of the site which could be considered potentially contaminated?"

The council will respond to your request within 21 working days of receipt. If the search provides no further information this should not be taken to mean that the site is free from contamination.

Useful advice for anyone involved in the development of land which is potentially contaminated can be found in the report guidance for the safe development of housing on land affected by contamination.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email envadmin@ambervalley.gov.uk

Pages in Land contamination Contaminated land register