Summary

Contaminated land describes land polluted by heavy metals, oils, chemicals, gases, asbestos or radioactive substances. Where land is contaminated, it may present a risk to human health, ecosystems, water quality and property.

Almost all action to remediate contaminated land in the UK is carried out under the planning regime. However, a regulatory instrument known as the Part 2A regime can be used by local authorities and, in some cases, environmental regulators to force action by polluters or landowners, or carry out clean-up directly.

This topic describes the designation and remediation of contaminated land.

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