Contaminated land

Thanet District Council’s approach to contaminated land

Thanet District Council’s approach to contaminated land is set out in the Contaminated Land Strategy. This strategy forms the basis for the Council’s activities in relation to contaminated land.

Contaminated Land refers to land that is unsuitable for its current use due to pollution of the soil or groundwater.

Land that may be contaminated has been assessed to identify whether there is a risk of harm to human health or the wider environment. Where land is potentially contaminated, Thanet District Council is responsible for agreeing the most appropriate action and making sure it is taken.

Where appropriate sites are determined, Thanet District Council has a duty to publish a Contaminated Land Register in accordance with Section 78R of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  Thanet District Council currently has no entries on the Contaminated Land Register.

The UK Government has set a target that 60% of all new residential properties should be constructed on brownfield land. Thanet District Council actively scrutinises and monitors all such development applications to ensure that the sites are developed appropriately and are suitable for their proposed use.




Whilst this Authority supports proposals for the redevelopment of brownfield sites, the potential for land to be contaminated is an essential consideration for the purposes of Planning and it places the responsibility on owners and developers to establish the extent of any potentially harmful materials on their sites.

This guidance is aimed at owners, property developers, agents, architects and surveyors who want to know what information they should submit to the Planning department when they apply to re-develop, or significantly change the use of a piece of land, which could potentially be contaminated.

Contamination is most likely to arise from previous industrial use of the site or adjacent sites or from known pollution incidents. The onus for cleaning up such land under the planning process is not the same as cleaning up land under Part IIA of the Environment Protection Act 1990, although the information we would request is similar. The conditions for cleaning up land through the planning process are that, as a minimum, the site cannot be determined as ‘contaminated land’ under Part IIA after the completion of development.

This information is for guidance purposes only. We are aware that the contents of any site investigation report will vary due to site-specific issues, e.g. the past use of the site, the nature and extent of the contamination and the proposed end use of the site. Developers are therefore recommended to seek the advice of an Environmental Consultant and the Local Authority if it is suspected that contamination may exist.

Contaminated land guidance for developers

Contaminated Land Guide for Developers has been prepared to explain this process in more detail. This includes information on who may be commissioned to conduct the required risk assessments, and a checklist for reports submitted in support of Planning Application.

Pre application consultation

Where a developer is proposing to develop land that is suspected or known to be contaminated, or the proposed development is particularly sensitive to potential contamination (such as a school / hospital) or due to the site’s location within a Groundwater Source Protection Zone, developers are strongly encouraged to contact the Council’s Planning and Environmental Protection teams for pre-application consultation.

It is useful to do this as the Council may have additional information that you are unaware of; and it will prevent delays on planning applications where a preliminary risk assessment must accompany the initial application.


Please note, information held by TDC is governed by the requirements of the:

The Town and Country Planning Act also requires that information submitted to the Council be placed on the Planning register. However, intellectual property rights and copyright laws will normally be respected. The Environmental Health Department may charge a research fee for more detailed environmental information

For site specific research requests, please contact Environmental Health: Environmental.Health@thanet.gov.uk


Help & support

Did you find this page useful?

  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.