Many areas of land have become contaminated by the residues left behind by activities such as mining, waste disposal and general industrial processes.
There are believed to be between 50,000 and 100,000 potentially contaminated sites within the UK. Most of these sites do not pose any immediate hazard to human health or the environment, but until the contamination is treated the land may be severely restricted in how it may be used.
The district and borough councils are in the process of identifying and registering contaminated land in their areas. Where they identify an area of contaminated land, they will identify who is responsible for the contamination and agree what works they should do to prevent the contamination causing harm to health or the environment. They will also need to ensure that any development takes account of the contamination. Additional consultations and considerations apply to any built development within 250 metres of an existing or former landfill site.
Certain types of contaminated land, where the contamination tends to be particularly severe or difficult to treat, are classed as special sites. These are regulated by the Environment Agency.
Further information can be found in the Planning Advice Note published by The Dorset and New Forest Contaminated Land Consortium of Local Authorities.
District council information on contaminated land
Accessing site-specific land quality information in North Dorset, West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland
If you need land contamination information about a particular property, we can provide a report on the information we have. Please be specific in the questions that you ask, so that we can provide the correct information.
These enquiries are treated as requests under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. In North and West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland we charge £40 for the first hour, plus £17.50 per additional full half hour.
Please note we can report only on land contamination information we hold and can't guarantee that information is comprehensive or definitive.
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Submit a request for contaminated land information