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Contaminated land

In common with many other countries, the UK has a legacy of land contamination arising from industrial development and related operational practices. The Stroud District has a long history of industrial activity, the basis of which was the wool and textile industry, along with associated processes such as the manufacture of dyes. In addition the District was host to a wide variety of other industrial uses including brickworks, gasworks, lime burning, quarrying, wire manufacture, fellmongery and tanning, board manufacture, fireworks, artificial manure and land filling operations.

These industrial activities often resulted in contamination of the land, 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. Not all contamination poses a problem; some may only be a concern when the land is used for a particular purpose.

The Council tackles contamination in a number of ways; through the planning process, through the Inspection Strategy and through prevention.

All planning applications are checked to see if they are situated on land known or suspected to have had a potentially contaminative former use. Where appropriate, conditions are applied requiring the developer to carry out an investigation of the site and where necessary to undertake remediation (clean-up) if contamination is found. Remediation must be to a standard that makes the land suitable for the proposed use.

It is a statutory duty under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to identify contaminated land and to ensure it’s clean up. The Council has produced A Strategy for the Identification of Contaminated Land setting out how it intends to carry out its duties under this legislation.

The Council has a duty to regulate a number of industrial processes which could give rise to further land contamination. The Council works closely with various regulatory partners, including the Environment Agency, to prevent new contamination being caused, or to require clean-up by the responsible polluter.

Further information

This page was last updated: 9 August 2017

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