Contaminated land

We have a legal duty to inspect and identify areas of contaminated land

Land that has had an industrial or commercial use, or where waste disposal has taken place may have become contaminated; this is often referred to as Brownfield land.

Eastleigh has a history of heavy industry associated with the manufacture and repair of railway locomotives and carriages. Hamble is associated with the manufacture of aircraft, and across the Borough, brick-making and sand quarrying have taken place. In some instances these quarries have been back-filled with waste materials.

You can find out more about the history of the land where you live from a number of companies that provide searches of historical maps and other sources of information. You can also contact us to see whether we hold information about the land you are interested in, currently we make a charge to cover our cost in providing this information.

Contaminated land is defined at Section 78A (2) of Part IIA - Environmental Protection Act 1990) as:

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:

  • Significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being cause; or
  • Significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused, or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused.

We have the sole responsibility for determining whether any land appears to be contaminated. 

To declare that a land is contaminated, we must identify a significant contaminant linkage across the following elements:

  • Contaminant (hazard) - a source of contamination must be present
  • Receptor (target) - a receptor for that contamination to affect
  • Pathway (via air, soil or water) - a pathway for the source to be able to affect the receptor

Unless all three elements are identified and linked, land cannot be declared contaminated. Consequently, land can only be 'contaminated land' where it is causing an unacceptable risk to human health or other specific receptors such as rivers or groundwater.

The Environment Agency provide technical guidance on a range of issues to do with land contamination: soil guideline values for contaminants that may be present in the ground  how to assess the risks that contamination may pose along with guides on a range of issues to do with identifying, assessing and managing the risks that may be present. A number of other organisations also provide guidance on land contamination.

For more information on contaminated land please complete the below enquiry form.