Contamination risk assessment - Planning validation requirements

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Planning document information


A contamination risk assessment, is a report that provides details of previous uses and a risk assessment of the proposed development site to make sure that the land is not contaminated. 

The report, which may be known as a Phase 1 includes a desk study, a site walkover and an initial risk assessment 


We recommended that you speak to a qualified individual or certified company to carry out this assessment. 

You can also talk to our Environmental Health team for more help and advice 

The report you submit should include an executive summary and be clear, easy to read and jargon free. 

There are many uses of land that can create contaminants which we will need to be made aware of.  Examples of contaminating land uses include: 

  • abattoirs, animal waste processing and burial of diseased livestock 
  • asbestos, cement, lime and gypsum manufacture 
  • chemicals (organic and inorganic), pesticides, acids/alkalis manufacture 
  • coal and mineral mining and processing, both deep mines and opencast 
  • dry cleaning premises 
  • electrical and electronic equipment manufacture and repair 
  • food processing industry and catering establishments 
  • gasworks, coal carbonisation plants, power stations 
  • glass making and ceramics manufacture 
  • heavy engineering and engineering works, for example, car manufacture, shipbuilding 
  • laboratories - all types 
  • landfill, storage and incineration of waste 
  • military and Defence related activities 
  • munitions and explosives production, testing and storage sites 
  • paper and pulp manufacture, printing works and photographic processing 
  • petroleum storage and distribution sites, oil refineries 
  • pharmaceuticals, solvents, paints, detergents and cosmetics manufacture 
  • railway depots, dockyards (including filled in dock basins), garages, road haulage depots, airports 
  • rubber industry, including tyre manufacture 
  • sewage works, farms, stables and kennels 
  • smelters, foundries, steel works, metal processing and finishing works 
  • textile industry, including tanning and dyestuffs 
  • timber treatment 
  • radioactive substances used in industrial activities not mentioned above for example, gas mantle production and luminising works 
  • burial sites and graveyards 
  • agriculture - excessive use or spills of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, sewage sludge and farm waste disposal 
  • naturally occurring radioactivity, including radon 
  • naturally occurring elevated concentrations of metals and other substances 
  • methane and carbon monoxide production and emissions in coal mining areas, wetlands, peat moors or former wetlands 

You can get help and advice from our Duty Planner on contamination risk assessments and planning applications. 

You can get detailed feedback on your proposal by using our pre-application advice service

Personal and confidential statement 

We may publish any information you submit as part of your application. You must tell us if there is any information you do not want us to publish when you submit your application.  

If however, we believe that this information is in the public interest, we reserve the right to publish it.  

We may also decide parts of your submission are not in the public interest and may redact this information. This information may include telephone numbers, email addresses and signatures. 

Applications that sometimes need this document

When you may have to supply this information 

Although there are specific descriptions for different types of work, there are also three broad development types. The development types are based on the size and scale of your proposal and define what documents and supporting information you need to submit as part of your application. 

You can get speak to our Duty Planner if you have any questions about which development type your proposal falls into. 

Depending on the details of your application, you may have to submit a contamination risk assessment when you are submitting an application for: 

When you need to submit this information

When you must supply this information 

Depending on the details of your application, you may have to submit a contamination risk assessment when you are submitting an application for: 

If your application is for one of these types of planning permission, you need to submit a contamination risk assessment if your proposal is for or includes: 

  • any type of residential developments (houses, flats, nursing homes etc.) 
  • allotments 
  • children's play areas 
  • playing fields 
  • mixed use developments including vulnerable end uses e.g. residential 
  • nurseries and crèches 
  • schools 
  • land which is or may be affected by contamination 
Validation requirements

Required by 

These policies can be found in the Local Plan 2013 - 2033 document