Land contamination environmental search

Contaminated land is land which has previously been contaminated by industrial/commercial use and waste disposal.

This means there may be harmful substances in, on or under the land and that water pollution might be caused by substances at the site.

Land is declared contaminated when:

  • it contains significant levels of a pollutant (known as the source)
  • someone or something (known as the receptor) could be affected by the pollutant and
  • the pollutant can get to the receptor in significant quantities (known as the pathway).

The redevelopment of contaminated land

The approval of an application for redevelopment of land will usually be granted subject to contamination of the land being assessed, and where necessary cleaned up to a standard that makes it suitable for the new use of the land.

Responsibility for assessment lies with the developer.

You should obtain specialist advice from an environmental consultant or a specialist lawyer before you buy or sell contaminated land.

Responsibility for contaminated land

If you own or occupy contaminated land now, or you did in the past, you may be responsible for cleaning up the pollution.

The person or organisation that caused or permitted the contamination must pay to have it put right. If the person or organisation is not known, then the current owner of the land may become responsible.

Our role

  • we publish a contaminated land strategy, which says how we will find contaminated sites in the Royal Borough;
  • we carry out inspections of land that may be contaminated;
  • we find out who is responsible for putting right the contamination, and discuss the problem with them;
  • we can formally declare contaminated land;
  • we agree the necessary action and makes sure it is done.

Environmental Search

We offer a service to prospective house buyers/sellers and other interested parties to supply site-specific information related to land contamination in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead area. 

The standard environmental search will include a search of our records for information about contamination on the site and for past uses that may have involved contaminative processes.

We currently charge £80 for commercial searches.