Contaminated land

When land is contaminated it might pose a risk to the environment or people.

We have a responsibility to inspect land within our area to identify any potential contamination.

We have no land that can be determined as ‘contaminated’ under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Contaminated land is defined as any land which is in a condition that due to substances in, on or under the land, either:

  • significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused
  • pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be, caused

Not all land can be declared contaminated, so some areas are known as ‘potentially contaminated’. These are usually sites where we do not have enough information to decide if they are contaminated.

Contaminated land register

There are no entries on our register. The register does not include sites which are potentially contaminated.

Contaminated land strategy

Environmental Information Requests (EIR)

With the introduction of Home Information Packs, questions relating to contaminated land are being considered more often in house sales.

Environmental searches from private companies have become an important source of information for homebuyers and mortgage lenders.

These searches are not always conclusive, and you may be asked to contact the local council for the full information.

You can submit a request for this information online. There is a fee for this service.

Request environmental information

Select ‘submit a request’ and use the subject ‘Environmental Protection – Environmental Information Request’.

Development of industrial, commercial or other potentially contaminated sites

When a potentially contaminated site is redeveloped, contaminated land planning conditions can be applied to the site.

These conditions ensure the developer carries out environmental investigations and reports them to the Environmental Health department.

If any risks are posed to future site users, the developers will have to do work to reduce these risks.

More information can be found in the developers contaminated land guide [pdf] 78KB and guidance on land affected by contamination.


The owner of a commercial property built before the year 2000 must have a copy of an asbestos register for each property they own.

If the property is going to be developed, the developer will need to show that any asbestos is either removed or suitably managed.

Landfill monitoring

There are 18 closed landfill sites in our area, but only the Clapham and Castle Goring sites produce gases in significant quantities.

Although the Clapham site produces methane at high levels, it is not a risk to neighbouring residents.

Japanese knotweed

You must not let any Japanese knotweed spread from your property to neighbouring land or the wild.

You do not have to remove Japanese knotweed from your land, but you could be prosecuted or given a community protection notice for causing a nuisance if you allow it to spread onto anyone else’s property.

Find guidance on preventing the spread of Japanese knotweed on

Petroleum storage

You can find out if your property was used to store petrol or has old petrol tanks on the land from West Sussex Trading Standards.