How to Discharge Contaminated Land Planning Conditions
Developments on potentially contaminated land will almost always require some form of risk assessment and will most likely be requested through planning conditions on the decision notice of a planning application. In order to discharge contaminated land planning conditions you will need a Contaminated Land Investigation that focuses on 1 or all 3 distinct phases. We can advise you on what to do, the process and the industry jargon in this brief guide to discharging contaminated land planning conditions.Contact Us
Guide to Discharging Contaminated Land Planning Conditions
In order to discharge contaminated land planning conditions you will need a Contaminated Land Investigation that focuses on 1 or all 3 distinct phases. We would only carry out these phases in the specific order listed below, however, the proceeding phase may not have to be carried out if unacceptable risks of contamination are not found in the prior phase.
Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment (Desk Study) - Initially, we would carry out a desk study, also known as a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment, to identify potential contamination issues at the site. It may be the case that particular contamination issues have been specifically addressed in the planning approval decision notice, in these cases our desk study would focus on these issues and determine the potential level of risk presented by them. For example, we've carried out contaminated land investigations to comply with planning conditions for projects near petrol stations and similar sites where potential petroleum hydrocarbon contamination is a concern. In some cases, where minimal risks are identified in a desk study, no further assessment is needed and the contaminated land planning condition can be discharged at this stage. However, if the Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment identifies an unacceptable risk from contamination, a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation will be required. Ultimately, the Environmental Health Officer assigned to the planning application would determine if further phases are required, following their review of the recommendations provided in the desk study.
Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation - To get a more detailed assessment of the level of contamination at the site, it may be necessary to carry out an intrusive assessment. This would involve taking samples of soil and testing them in a UKAS accredited laboratory to find out if there is any contamination present. If at this stage no contamination is found, the contaminated land planning conditions can be discharged. However, if contamination is identified a remediation strategy would need to be implemented.
Phase 3 Remediation Options Appraisal - This phase would only be required if unacceptable levels of contamination have been identified through a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation. Remediation strategies are less common than phases 1 and 2 and are very specific to each project. As with the previous 2 phases, the Environmental Health Officer assigned to the planning application would determine if a remediation strategy is required, following their review of the recommendations made in the Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation.
Phase 4 Verification Report - Primarily carried out on projects with more complex remediation issues, a Phase 4 Verification Report is conducted to confirm that remediation has successfully mitigated the land contamination risk and is the final phase required to discharge contaminated land planning conditions.
What are Contaminated Land Planning Conditions & Why are They Relevant
Some specific sites may have particular noteworthy potential contamination issues that are outlined in the planning conditions. For example, the potential for fuel spillage on a site near a petrol station or contamination from an old factory may be specifically mentioned in the planning conditions. Sometimes standard planning conditions may be added to a decision notice purely as a precaution to ensure that development doesn't occur on contaminated land even if there may be no obvious contamination issues at the site. These conditions are sometimes requested as a phased process in multiple separate conditions or sometimes as one condition requesting a full contaminated land investigation, also known as a contaminated land assessment or contaminated land report. It's important to note that in order to follow UK legislation for risk assessments the process will always require a phased approach, starting with a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment (Desk Study), followed by a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation, Phase 3 Remediation Options Appraisal and finally a Phase 4 Verification Report, where required.
What to do next for planning permission on potentially contaminated land - If you receive planning approval for a project with contaminated land conditions attached, it's important that you conduct a suitable contaminated land investigation, carried out by professional environmental consultants. We are able to carry out all phases of the investigation, on a wide range of sites, all in a matter of days; allowing you to stick to deadlines and continue with your project stress free.