There are various legal factors that have to be considered when it comes to purchasing land for development that might be classed as contaminated. It is therefore advisable to make sure you have an experienced law firm on your side to ensure you are covered in every area. At Blackstone Solicitors, we are able to advise many different types of client, no matter the complexity of the circumstances surrounding this type of land acquisition and its implications.
For more information about how our team of construction solicitors can help you, contact us on 0161 929 0121 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will call you back at a convenient time.
How we can help
Contamination can be found in all types of land and this includes sites that have been previously undeveloped. If the local authority decides that land is contaminated, the current owner or occupier of the land may be required to clear up the contamination if the party who caused or knowingly permitted the contamination cannot be found. This can be an expensive process, so you should always assess the risk of land being contaminated before proceeding to purchase a property or site.
We are here to help with the legal implications of contaminated land purchase of any size. Be it a single local plot or a site on a much larger scale, we will work with you to make sure everything goes to plan.
Friendly yet direct, our team is passionate about every case we take on, and we believe the entire process requires constant communication. We will, therefore, guide you through the technicalities involved, offering expert advice from start to finish.
Why legal help is important
A desktop investigation known as an environmental data search is usually used in the first instance to establish the risk of land being contaminated. This relies upon floodplain data, current and past use of the land and other information from regulatory bodies. It should be remembered that this desktop search does not include a site visit or soil or groundwater testing. If the desktop search reveals a potential risk, you should undertake a more in-depth investigation.
Often local authorities deal with any contamination issues through the planning application process, by placing conditions on the planning permission that may include further site investigations or remediation works.
Commercial and industrial processes sometimes result in land becoming contaminated with substances which could pose a risk to public health or the environment, if not properly dealt with. Although most soils contain some contaminants, the levels of risk posed are usually very low. You may be held liable to remediate land as a result of contaminants creating a risk of harm to persons or other ‘receptors’ in the form of designated ecological areas, controlled waters, or property in the form of crops, animals or buildings.
Local authorities can issue remediation notices which would require action to remediate contamination, if there is no agreement in place to address these issues.
Responsibility falls on those who caused or knowingly permitted the land to be contaminated. This person is known as a ‘class A’ person.
If a class A person of the land cannot be found, the current owner or occupier may be served with a remediation notice requiring them to remediate the land. This person/entity is known as a ‘class B’ person. Mortgagees in possession can also be class B persons.
Our team prides itself on being able to meet every need of each of our clients. We are willing to go the extra mile when other firms are not, ensuring our clients are given the very best opportunity of getting the outcome they are after. Get in touch to see how our specialist team can help you with all your contaminated land issues.
Speaking to one of our solicitors is easy, simply call us on 0161 929 0121 or allow us to get in touch with you by filling in our online enquiry form. Our services are available to clients throughout the UK, including Manchester, London, Cheshire and Chester, as well as to those living abroad.