Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy
4.3 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Previous Actions to Deal with Contamination.
There may be existing developments on potentially historically contaminated land. These sites may have either been previously unidentified, or it is possible that the degree of remediation might be considered to be inadequate by current standards. There may also be enforcement issues relating to the discharge of planning conditions where potentially contaminated sites can be cross-referenced against the planning application numbers. The corresponding paper files can then be checked to establish whether the following steps took place:
* The site in question was established as being potentially contaminated during the planning application process.
* Contamination-related planning conditions were applied.
* The planning conditions were met and the necessary reports and information were provided to indicate remediation took place to a satisfactory level.
Further investigations may have to take place where reports are not present in the files, to establish whether they were submitted. Evidence may have to be requested from the developer, in the form of a site investigation and remediation report, to prove that remediation took place, and consideration will have to be given to further investigations if no evidence is forthcoming.
4.4 Considering B&NES Council Interests in Land
Property Services holds information relating to currently and previously Council-owned/leased land. These details are available on the Council’s GIS to allow searches of the information to take place in order to identify land in a potentially contaminated state. The Uniform database within Environmental Protection may also be used to produce information where Council-owned land is potentially a source of, or at risk from, contamination.
In cases where the Council might have been responsible for the contamination (i.e. the Council is classed as the Appropriate Person), some data will be available on maps held in Planning Services but, in addition, further research using historical maps and other paper sources will have to be carried out.
Within the risk assessment process of contaminated land, identified areas of current/formerly Council-owned/leased land will be considered by the same criteria as other sites, and inspections will take place at sites as and when they are identified as being potentially contaminated. However, as it is likely that the Council will hold more information relating to these sites than others, it is possible that their identification may occur before non-Council sites.
4.5 Appointment of External Consultants
External consultants and contractors may be employed to carry out any necessary intrusive investigations where it becomes necessary for the Local Authority to perform undertakings of the above nature. Where it is necessary to employ contractors, provisions will be drawn up to ensure investigations are carried out in accordance with relevant British Standards.
The Contaminated Land Officer or other suitably qualified Local Authority representatives will be responsible for overseeing intrusive investigations to ensure they fulfil the expectations of their brief, and to ensure the investigations themselves do not cause harm to the surrounding environments.
Where it becomes necessary to make external appointments of consultants, the Council’s procedures relating to contractual work will be followed.
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