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PO5  Criteria for the Development of Contaminated Land  Policy

Development proposals located on land known or suspected to be contaminated will be required to incorporate a detailed ground survey report which clearly identifies:

(i) the nature, level and extent of contamination on the site and of any surface or groundwater;

(ii) the implications of that contamination for the future development of the site; and

(iii) the method of treatment required to bring the site into a safely developable condition for the development proposed.

Where appropriate, planning conditions or a legal agreement will be used to ensure that satisfactory treatment is carried out, either before development takes place, or as part of an agreed phased programme of treatment and development, in accordance with other relevant policies of the Plan.

New uses which are likely to give rise to contamination will be permitted subject to controls designed to prevent or mitigate potential contamination and to secure reinstatement or reclamation when the use has ceased.

Reasoned justification :

21.15 Land contaminated by toxic, corrosive or otherwise harmful substances can pose a serious danger to public safety. It is, therefore, important that such contamination should be removed or treated so as to render the site harmless. Where this can be achieved, together with the redevelopment or otherwise beneficial use of the land, it can offer a major contribution towards urban regeneration.

21.16 The Local Planning Authority does not wish to prevent reasonable development taking place. However, Policy PO5 ensures that adequate environmental safeguards are in place before development will be permitted. Where contamination is strongly suspected, the Local Planning Authority will require the applicant to investigate the condition of the site.

21.17 Planning permission will only be forthcoming where the investigation shows that the contamination would have no implications for public safety or where satisfactory remedial measures can be taken to remove or contain any potential hazard. Development will not normally be permitted until an adequate investigation and site assessment is complete and planning consent will be subject to conditions related to an agreed regime of treatment being carried out before occupation of the site. These requirements may, where necessary, also be enforced by means of legal agreement.

21.18 The disturbance of contaminated land can mobilize pollutants and either cause first time pollution or worsen existing problems. Leachates and drainage from contaminated land sites pose serious risks of major pollution to both rivers and groundwater. Policies in relation to the protection of the Borough’s water resources can be found in Section 19 of the UDP.

21.19 Policy PO5 also includes a clause intended to provide preventative controls over new proposals which may give rise to contamination