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Contaminated land

What is contaminated land?

Contaminated land is defined as:

  • land that because of substances, which are in, on or under the land, may cause significant harm or the significant possibility of significant harm to human health or the environment
  • may cause pollution of a controlled watercourse

For land to be classed as contaminated there must be:

  • a source of contamination
  • a pathway by which the contamination can move
  • a receptor (something that can be harmed by the contamination)

There can only be contaminated land when all three of these factors are present.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is not covered by contaminated land rules except if:

  • it's damaging a historic property
  • has spread and is causing structural damage to adjoining properties

For more information visit the Evironment Agency.

Public register of contaminated Land

The Contaminated Land Part 2A regime deals with land where contamination is causing unacceptable risks to human health or the wider environment given the current use and circumstances of the land.

There is currently no land within North Tyneside that has been classified as Contaminated Land under the legislation.

Contaminated land searches

We can carry out contaminated land searches. We charge £50.00 per hour and part thereof (Exc VAT).

For the Contaminated Land Officer to proceed, we need:

  • written confirmation of acceptance of this charge (letter/fax/email)
  • a legible plan of the area

Please send plan and confirmation to:

Contaminated Land Officer
Environmental Health
Public Protection Services
Quadrant East - 1st floor
The Silverlink North
Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside
NE27 0BY

When we receive the plan and confirmation, we'll try to respond within 21 days. We'll give you an invoice when the work is completed.

Contaminated land strategy

We are required by law to produce a written strategy explaining how we identify and deal with contaminated land.

Related documents

Planning applications

The developer is responsible for making sure a development is safe and that the land is:

  • suitable for the use intended
  • or can be made so through remediation

We recommended  that developers carry out a search with the contaminated land officer as we can give information on possible land contamination.

The current land use may:

  • have caused contamination
  • may be within unknown filled land or landfill sites

Failure to get this information can lead to delays in determination.

Coal mining risk assessments

The Coal Authority (which is a Government body and a statutory consultee) supplies us with information highlighting high and low risk areas within the North Tyneside, and when this issue needs to be addressed.

The National Planning Policy Framework requires us to take into account the risk from underground gas and land stability in determining planning applications.

For example. a minor extension - such as a conservatory - might have issues with gas membrane.

There are different types of gas membrane that are specific to a particular ground gas. A condition would be placed on the development which would require the details of the gas membrane and foundation.

For a larger development, ground gas monitoring will be required. A minimum number of boreholes (no less than 3) and rounds of gas monitoring must be carried out based on the guidance CIRIA c665: "Assessing Risks Posed By Hazardous Ground Gases To Buildings" with a minimum of at least two sets of readings as low and falling atmospheric pressure.

We recommend pre-planning advice to agree the number of boreholes and rounds of sampling.

You can submit a pre-planning application at Planning Portal.

The borehole installations must consider water table and underlying ground and give enough time for normal conditions to occur.

The information on appropriate numbers of boreholes, minimum sampling intervals and numbers of gas readings are provided in the CIRIA document.

Related documents

Bathing Water Quality

Water quality at designated bathing water sites in England is assessed by the Environment Agency. From May to September, weekly assessments measure current water quality, and at a number of sites daily pollution risk forecasts are issued. Annual ratings classify each site as excellent, good, sufficient or poor based on measurements taken over a period of up to four years. Information about bathing water quality is available from the Environment Agency: