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Contaminated land


This page provides information on the work we carry out around contaminated land.

Contaminated land inspections 

Under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 we have a duty to inspect land across the county to make sure it is fit for its current use. Our role is:

  • to develop a  Icon for pdf Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy (PDF, 3.0mb)
  • to ensure areas are inspected from time to time to identify any land which may pose a risk to human health or other sensitive receptors
  • to establish responsibilities to make sure land is fit for its purpose
  • to consult the Environment Agency on pollution of Controlled Waters

Further details regarding the inspection process and current and completed inspections is available on .

Contaminated land register

We are required to maintain a public register of land determined as contaminated land. Bessemer Park, Spennymoor is the only site currently on Icon for pdf Contaminated Land Register (PDF, 4.7mb)  
Contact us for more information.

Environmental search requests

We hold environmental information which is available on request. We are also able to provide up-to-date and local information on:

  • whether a property or site has been determined as contaminated land
  • whether the property or site is subject to inspection under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and if so, what priority has been given to the property or site to be inspected

Please note that there is a £50 charge (plus an extra £25 per hour rate for more complex requests) due to the time and resources a request needs. If you want to make a request, find out more by reading our Icon for pdf Environmental Search Request Guidance (PDF, 107.7kb) .

Planning applications and advice

We are consulted on certain pre-planning enquiries and planning applications to ensure a site is suitable for its proposed use and ensure the relevant work is completed. Planning applications must be supported by an appropriate contamination assessment if:

  • there is evidence that your site may be affected by contamination
  • the proposed use is vulnerable to the presence of contamination

We have adopted The Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pollution Advisory Group (YALPAG) guidance documents for individuals and developers as we recognise that contaminated land assessment is a complex process. These are available in document downloads section. 

Additional YALPAG guidance should be referred to if clean subsoil and topsoil is required to form a cover system or if gas protection measures are required.

Small developments

If you are undertaking a small development please print off and complete the  Icon for word Screening Assessment Form (DOC, 32.3kb)  and then please return to your Local Planning Authority..

Contact us
Land Quality Inspection Programme
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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