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Planning - contaminated land and development

We recognise the need to increase the use of ‘brownfield sites’ (derelict land) for residential and commercial development, to take the pressure off the countryside.

This is stated in the Local Plan for South Gloucestershire.

Land that is or might be contaminated is a material consideration in planning, which means it can be grounds for refusal of planning permission. We will give permission for development on land which could be contaminated only if the developer takes adequate measures to make sure the site and surrounding areas are clean enough for use.

Getting planning permission

If you want to build on a brownfield site, you will need to demonstrate that the site is suitable. You will need to carry out investigations, and provide us with a report.

If the land is contaminated, we will usually deal with this as part of the planning process. This means we will set planning conditions to make sure you deal with the contamination.
It will be up to you – the developer, to carry out any work necessary to clean up the site. Usually, it will be up to you to pay for the investigations and the work.

You may also need to take measures to protect the fabric of new buildings and their future occupants from the effects of contamination, under the Building Regulations of 1991.

Contaminated land conditions

If you have made a planning application about a property that is on potentially contaminated land then you may have a specific condition attached to your approval notice.

This does not necessarily mean that the site is contaminated – only that we feel you must carry out further assessment or works to make sure that the development will not pose any risks to environmental or public safety.

Further information

For more information about contaminated land and planning, please download our technical guidance note for planners and developers.
For full details, please refer to the planning policy guidance: Planning and Pollution Control (PPG 23), which you can download from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government

Approved document part C (site preparation and resistance to moisture) gives guidance on protecting new buildings and you can download it from the Government’s Planning Portal website.

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