Pollution control - contaminated land

What is contaminated land?

Industrialisation has left a legacy of land contamination. Processes such as waste disposal and manufacturing have left contamination in the soils such as heavy metals and fuels.

Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 details the legislative framework for dealing with contaminated land.  It deals with the identification of contaminated sites, how remediation is brought about, and who pays for it.  Part 2A defines contaminated land 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 either in, on or under the land, that:

  • Significant harm is being caused or there is the significant possibility of such harm being caused
  • Pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be, caused"

Land that has been polluted or contaminated will not necessarily fall within the above legal definition of contaminated land.

For an area of land to meet the definition of contaminated land, a significant pollutant linkage must be established. A pollutant linkage consists of three parts:

  • A source of contamination in, on or under the ground
  • A pathway by which the contamination is causing significant harm (or which represents a significant possibility of such harm being caused), and
  • A receptor (of a type specified in the regulations)

Land cannot be determined as contaminated land unless all three elements of a pollutant linkage are present and the linkages are demonstrated to be significant. In some cases pollutant linkages can change, when new receptors are introduced following the change in land use, for example following development.

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Is there any contaminated Land in Haringey?

We have a duty to maintain a contaminated land register of particulars relating to action taken on contaminated land. To date no sites have been formally determined as contaminated land in the borough of Haringey.

One site has been extensively investigated: Ferry Lane Housing Estate, Tottenham, N17 - Grid ref: 534630, 189110; formerly the site of a furniture factory. The estate was investigated in 2005 and was not determined to be contaminated land.

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Haringey Contaminated Land Inspection Process

In April 2000, the Government issued guidance and legislation known as Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Contaminated Land Regime. This regime requires local authorities in England to inspect their area for contaminated land and to ensure these areas are suitable for use.

The council has a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy which says how it will find contaminated sites in its area. The council will carry out inspections of land that may be contaminated, find who is responsible for putting right the contamination and discusses the problem with them. Under the Part IIA regime the council has to formally declare land identified to be contaminated as contaminated land and must keep a Public Register of any such sites, together with details of any action required to put the problem right and any legal action that has been taken.

In some cases the Environment Agency may take over the regulation of a site from the council, once it has been declared as 'contaminated land'.

Haringey Council's Contaminated Land Strategy is available in our attached files section.

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What does the council do about contaminated land?

There are two processes that we use to deal with land contamination:

  • Borough contaminated land inspection process (statutory route)
  • Planning process (enables brownfield sites to be brought back into beneficial use)

Most sites are remediated as they are redeveloped. A condition will be placed on the planning permission at the planning approval stage. In order to discharge such a condition, sufficient information will need to be submitted to show that the potential risks have been identified and assessed. Validation of any remediation work will also be required.

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Environmental and Contaminated Land Enquiries

We hold environmental information on a range of topics and sites including landfill sites and prescribed industrial processes. Enquiries are usually raised by solicitors as part of property transactions or asset management.

Enquiries are subject to a charge to cover costs incurred in providing the information.

  • From 1 October 2022 the standard charge is £110

If you require environmental information for a particular site within the borough of Haringey, you need to apply to Environmental Health at the address below or email enforcement@Haringey.gov.uk

Your enquiry will be acknowledged by telephone or email within two working days of receipt. Once the fee has been received by the council, a response shall be sent within 28 working days of receipt of the enquiry.

No material information will be given over the telephone - only written responses are provided.

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Growing edible crops on potentially contaminated land

The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens website (external link) has information explaining the potential risks of planting edible crops on potentially contaminated urban land.

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Contact us

Carbon Management Team
Level 6 North  - River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
N22 8HQ

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Attached files

contaminated_land_strategy.pdfPDF 780.18 KB

Page last updated:

October 24, 2022

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