Contaminated land

Contaminated land

East Hampshire is a rural District, approximately 200 square miles in extent, which borders Hart District and Basingstoke and Deane Borough to the north, Waverley Borough and Chichester District to the east, Winchester City to the west and Havant Borough to the south. It is known for its attractive landscape, approximately 40% of which lies within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

East Hampshire has a modern agricultural industry, which is continuing to diversify, a range of manufacturing and service sector industries and a significant public sector presence. The Ministry of Defence is a major employer and landholder in the District.

The modern landscape reflects the geology and historic land use. On the chalk areas to the west are large open arable fields which have replaced sheep walks of earlier times. To the east around Alice Holt Wood, Liphook and Headley are commons and forest remnants associated with the clays and sands of the Weald. In the middle of the nineteenth century the construction of railways made the north and east of the Hampshire district readily accessible from London resulting in the establishment of military camps such as Bordon and Longmoor camps. Military use and improved transport have resulted in a change in the appearance of the landscape over the last few centuries although in clay areas such as Chawton where transport has been relatively unimproved and the soils are poor, little has changed.

Under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which came into force on 1 April 2000, East Hampshire District Council, as the primary regulator, has a responsibility to inspect land in its area with the purpose of identifying any contaminated land. The Council has therefore produced a Contaminated Land Strategy document, which sets out how the Council will identify and deal with contaminated land within the district.

Definition

Contaminated land is defined at Section 78A (2) of Part IIA - Environmental Protection Act 1990) as:

any land which appears to the LA in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land that,

  • Significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being cause; or
  • Significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused, or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused.

The local authority has the sole responsibility for determining whether any land appears to be contaminated land. 

The local authority should identify a significant contaminant linkage to declare that a land is contaminated.  For a contaminant linkage to form there must be three separate elements:

  • Contaminant (Hazard) - a source of contamination must be present
  • Receptor (Target) - a receptor for that contamination to affect
  • Pathway (via air, soil or water) - a pathway for the source to be able to affect the receptor

Unless all three elements of a contaminant linkage are identified, land cannot be declared contaminated. Consequently, land can only be contaminated land where it is causing an unacceptable risk to human health or other specific receptors such as rivers or groundwater.

To speak with our Contaminated Land Officers, please email ehealth@easthants.gov.uk or call 01730 234332.