Get yourself an introduction to contaminated land management

07 September 2018, Jaime Bainbridge, Consultancy Manager

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Contaminated land management experts Argyll Environmental lead new workshop series

This week, the first in a new series of specialist CPD workshops around contaminated land management went ahead at CIEH headquarters in London. Facilitated by Argyll Environmental, the Brighton-based environmental risk management consultancy, each workshop provides environmental health officers, planning officers, consultants and developers within local authorities with the knowledge and skills to deal with contaminated land as part of future planning applications. Jaime Bainbridge, Consultancy Manager at Argyll Environmental, explains the workshops in further detail…

Led by three of our Senior Environmental Consultants, ‘Introduction to Contaminated Land Management’ will take place in Leeds (18 October) and Bristol (17 January). As well as discussing the sources and risks of contamination, the experts will guide attendees through the latest legislation and guidance for the UK’s approach to managing land contamination and explain how this can be applied in real life scenarios.

With the recent revision to the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, the workshops are an ideal opportunity for planning professionals to fully understand the current requirements of assessing and handling contaminated land as part of a planning application.

Senior environmental consultants Keara Masrani, Tim Champney and Connie Alderson Blench will be facilitating the workshops in addition to the course coordinator Tom Venables, who prior to joining Argyll as a senior consultant was the Contaminated Land Officer at Lewes Council. All are experts in undertaking complex contaminated land risk assessments and planning reports.

For more information on the workshops, or to book a place visit our events home page. Alternatively, for more information regarding Argyll Environmental and its range of environmental consultancy services, assessments and training, visit our website.

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"Britain has significant ex-industrial land, much of which is contaminated by toxic or other dangerous agents."

As the first industrialised nation, Great Britain has a significant number of ‘brownfield’ sites, or ex-industrial land, much of which (around 400,000 hectares at the latest estimate) is contaminated by toxic or other dangerous agents. Property investors who have bought, or are considering buying, contaminated land will normally be required by legal statute to design a contaminated land management programme. This is the case whether they propose to develop the land for certain purposes (e.g. housing) or where the contamination represents (actually or potentially) an environmental or other threat to health. In these cases, there is a requirement for contaminated land investigation, management and reporting.

By undertaking environmental due diligence at the outset, any hidden risks can be clearly understood, and practical advice can be sought to protect the property, site or business. A Phase 1 site assessment may be carried out if a potential risk is identified, following thorough desktop studies. At this level, an environmental consultant will visit the site and carry out a physical walkover to provide precise recommendations.

This helps build a clear picture of the scale of risks, including whether any contamination is present and whether a programme of soil, water or gas sampling is required. It is only after actual samples have been taken and analysed that decisions can then be made regarding whether any remedial work may be necessary.

Although local authorities may place requirements for contaminated land investigations on planning applications, ultimately, responsibility lies with the landowner and developer to ensure that any activity is carried out in a safe and sustainable way and that land is appropriate for its intended use. This will provide peace of mind to all involved – not only for today’s owner and developer, but to the future generations of occupants too.

 

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