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gruffydd

Contaminated Land - Is It Still A Major Issue

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Recently noticed Devononline.gov.uk mentioning that the release of info on potentially or actually contaminated land is a difficult issue as it can cause property blight if handled in an uncontrolled manner. :ph34r:

I noticed contaminated land being mentioned as a major issue for buyers a couple of years ago- was this because some kind of register of contaminated land suddenly became available or something?

Are there any good resources on the internet.

PS. Good to see the ODPM house price figures today - typical of the BBC to put positive spin on it! tim.weber@bbc.co.uk was the BBC online business editor a few months ago - might be worth dropping him a line.

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Recently noticed Devononline.gov.uk mentioning that the release of info on potentially or actually contaminated land is a difficult issue as it can cause property blight if handled in an uncontrolled manner. :ph34r:

I noticed contaminated land being mentioned as a major issue for buyers a couple of years ago- was this because some kind of register of contaminated land suddenly became available or something?

Are there any good resources on the internet.

PS. Good to see the ODPM house price figures today - typical of the BBC to put positive spin on it! tim.weber@bbc.co.uk was the BBC online business editor a few months ago - might be worth dropping him a line.

Gruffydd, here are some good links on contaminated land

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/land/contaminated/

http://www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/275207/276318/?lang=_e

I would think determining whether or not land is contaminated is something that might be wise to do before buying a property. If it's a new build a site assessment should have been done and the land remediated if the land is designated as contaminated. You should be able to get hold of site specific risk assessment documents if you're buying a house in a new development.

Oh, and in terms of property blight - I wouldn't have thought it would be a big issue. For older developments, I think most local people usually know which houses are built on old industrial sites. I wouldn't think this would cause property blight any more than identifying which houses are in the floodplain or near to a landfill / other industrial site.

You can find a lot of information (including flood maps) at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/maps/...rsion=1〈=_e

Edited by Pedro

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Be careful here, very few sites have actually made it onto the Contaminated Land Registers as the criteria are very onerous.

Anything built on brownfield land prior to about 10 years ago will probably not have had any conditions placed on the planning consent and hence the appropriate contam land site investigation (si) (as apposed to geotechnical si ) is unlikely to have been carried out (it wasn't considered an issue back then) .

The whole EPA Part IIA regime is in turmoil at present as the Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) introduced in 2002 as "intervention values" for use in Contaminated Land determinations were massivly diluted in september this year by DEFRA and are now considered to be "no observable adverse affect levels" . Any CL determinations based purely on these are now highly questionable - google "DEFRA CLAN 2/05".

DEFRA, the Health Protection Agency and the Env Agency (who compiled the regime for Local Authorities to administer) are declining to be drawn on what concentrations now should be considered to be suitable intervention values for CL determinations.

Its taken 10 years of research to get to this point so the whole mess probably won't be sorted out soon, worse still the parties who derived the original SGVs are being commissioned to generate the next generation of Contaminated Land Guideline Values (CLGVs).

Does it cause blight - makes your property unsaleable as mortgage cos. won't touch it as the risks can be massive.

Re clean up costs - the polluter pays principal applies, unless of course they no longer exist - then it falls to the owner or occupier.

Do your homework before you commit and get proffessional help ( you can use their PI cover then if it all goes wrong - in theory anyway.

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The free reports are only just above useless, if there is any form of brownfield use in the locality it has a good chance of getting picked up.

The datasets used are poor and often out of date.

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Was looking at the issue of subsidence on the internet this PM - it looks like the Council in the area I'm looking at places the responsibility on the company / individual applying for planning permission - the developer is asked to make sure that subsidence will not cause problems on the site in question, and, after that, caveat emptor applies to the purchaser.

Then, with my map of ex-mines in the area I'm looking at, I noticed a new development going up around an old pit-head. Looked into this further and although this 'risk' was mentioned by the planning authority, planning permission was still granted. :ph34r:

By the way, thanks for the contaminated land info - just goes to show just how rotten-c*****t and useless our government / civil servants are.

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In my lifetime I have seen and heard umpteen programmes on TV and radio about folks who have bought property, especially newbuild, and then discovered contamination problems.

Brownfield sites, imo, forget them for housing.

Just release land from the so called "greenbelt".

[quote name='gruffydd' date='Dec 12 2005, 10:05 PM' post='252756'

Then, with my map of ex-mines in the area I'm looking at, I noticed a new development going up around an old pit-head. Looked into this further and although this 'risk' was mentioned by the planning authority, planning permission was still granted. :ph34r:

I don't know if this true but a brickie friend told me that if buying in a mining area, buy near a Church.

He said that the mining company had to leave support underneath a Church and the surrounding area.

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There's a comment on the bbc site about how years ago the land around this refinery burning away was all fields. Now its warehouses and houses.

;-/

There's also an amusing comment from someone claiming his stolen stereo was because of the explosion - AND they read it out in all seriousness on the news 24 today!

"I live in a council block of flats in North West London. I was amazed when I woke up on Sunday morning to find the nearside window of my car shattered and the stereo completely vanished. At first I thought I had been a victim of car crime but imagine my delight when I found out it was a result of the events in Hemel Hempstead. My heart goes out to the people of Hertfordshire who have been badly effected by this. The firefighters truely are heroes!

Alex Wright, North London

"

Absolutely hysterical - citizen journalism taken to new levels of fun.

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Was looking at the issue of subsidence on the internet this PM - it looks like the Council in the area I'm looking at places the responsibility on the company / individual applying for planning permission - the developer is asked to make sure that subsidence will not cause problems on the site in question, and, after that, caveat emptor applies to the purchaser.

Then, with my map of ex-mines in the area I'm looking at, I noticed a new development going up around an old pit-head. Looked into this further and although this 'risk' was mentioned by the planning authority, planning permission was still granted. :ph34r:

By the way, thanks for the contaminated land info - just goes to show just how rotten-c*****t and useless our government / civil servants are.

As Pricedout mentions above, if you are looking at a new build (or anything built after late 1980's) then suitable precautions should have been taken during the planning process. Currently, any obvious or suspected brownfield development will be subject to a planning condition basically stating that the developer has to adequately investigate the site, and remediate any contamination present, all of which needs to be approved by the planning authority before the planning conditions are signed off. Best to check that all planning conditions have been signed of before buying. Also if the house carries a NHBC guarantee, then the NHBC will have ensured that all such conditons are signed off before issuing their guarantee.

With regard to areas affected by historic mining, Local Authority in these areas are usually on the ball when it comes to this sort of thing (especially in traditinal mining areas i.e. South Wales and the northern coal fields), and will stipulate that adequate investigation for the prescence of mine workings needs to be undertaken and measures put in place to prevent subsidence etc.

I think the grey area exists in older properties that where constructed before much of the modern legislation is put in place. So its probably worth doing a bit of your own research into the local area to see if there are any problems evident.

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The subject of mines is a minefield as well (no pun intended) there are good records of later coal workings as the rights to the substrata are removed by act of parlaiment and the records are available via the coal authority, however stone mines and small workings are problematic as there is no central record - not even with Local Authorities - the only records may be on the deads.

Its further complicated as you can sell the mineral rights to another party who may hold records somewhere else.

I think it is the case that in UK law when you buy property, theoretically you buy to the centre of the earth - so any voids and subsidence are the landowners problem.

If you want to get info on this for free, when your solicitor submits the CON 29 form to the LA Land Charges Dept they can attach additional questions which the relevant depts will answer for free - usually.

If you write to each dept seperately they will each charge you to respond. Get a clued up solicitor - if you can find one.

PO

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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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