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Contaminated land - environmental searches

If you want to find out whether a piece of land might be contaminated, you can request an environmental search.

There is a charge for this service is £158.60 per hour inc. VAT in 2021/22. Most searches can be done within an hour.

We can provide data (where available) on historical land use and say whether a piece of land has been identified as potentially contaminated. Where information is available, we can also say whether there is any potentially contaminated land nearby.

Although most searches are for potentially contaminated land, we can also provide information on other data we hold such as private water supplies and sites holding environmental permits.

How to request a search

Requests for searches must;

  • be made in writing to
  • be accompanied by a local map clearly marking the boundary of the land
  • be reasonable and specific – for instance they must ask questions like ‘is the council aware of any land within 250 metres of the site which has been used for waste disposal to landfill?’

What you get

Where possible we now send information out electronically by e-mail.  Currently, we send you an environmental search pack including the following;

  • a letter confirming the number of potentially contaminated land sites within 250 metres (or other specified distance) of the land in question and saying whether the site itself is regarded as potentially contaminated
  • a sheet of frequently asked questions about environmental searches
  • a layout including extracts from historical maps showing any potentially contaminated land and any other relevant information about the land in question

We provide factual information only. If you need help in interpreting this information, you should seek the assistance of a specialist environmental consultant.

What we cannot cover

Our environmental searches are based on our Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy, which has identified areas of land that are potentially contaminated. We cannot guarantee that other areas of land are free from contamination. To do that, you would need to engage a specialist environmental consultant.

Please note we may not always have sufficient information to answer your enquiries fully.

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