Land contamination

Contaminated land

Contaminated land is defined in Section 78A(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as: 

Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that either;

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

At present, no land within Arun District has been determined as ’Contaminated’ under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For land to be determined as contaminated land a pollutant linkage needs to exist that exposes a receptor (human, groundwater body, etc.) to a significant possibility of significant harm.

Arun has produced a contaminated land strategy.pdf [pdf] 789KB. This document details the general background to the contaminated land regime and indicates, in light of the particular characteristics of Arun and the council’s priorities, how the new regime will be implemented.


Landfill monitoring

Monitoring of former landfill sites for methane gas is undertaken by sampling. There are 18 closed landfill sites in Arun but only the Clapham and Castle Goring sites produce landfill gas in significant quantities. There has been some public concern about Clapham landfill site, therefore we have undertaken enhanced monitoring. Although the site is producing methane at relatively high levels, it is not considered that there are health or nuisance risks to neighbouring residents. Monitoring has also been carried out extensively at Cornfield Close in Littlehampton.


Development of industrial/commercial and other potentially contaminated land sites

When a site is redeveloped after a potentially contaminative land use, contaminated land planning conditions can be applied to the site. These conditions ensure the developer carries out environmental investigations to supply information to the Environmental Health Department to consider. If any risks are posed to the future site users then remediation is required to reduce these risks.

The following documents can be used by developers and property owners to help supply the relevant information to meet planning conditions.

Developers CL Guide.pdf [pdf] 78KB

Guidance for the Safe Development of Housing on Land Affected by Contamination


Domestic oil storage

Get to know your oil tank. A guide to looking after an oil storage tank and avoiding pollution.


Environmental information

With the introduction of HIPs (Home Information Packs) in 2007, 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 the homebuyer and mortgage lender.  However, the results of these searches are not always conclusive and suggest that the Local Authority be consulted.  

Under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, a member of the public has a certain right of access to environmental information held by the Council.

If you have a request for environmental information, please complete a request for service at There is a charge for the information request to be processed which can be found on the fees and charges pageIf large amounts of time consuming information are required then an appropriate fee can be arranged first.