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‘Contaminated Land’ and ‘Land Contamination’

Similar to many other countries, the United Kingdom has a legacy of land contamination arising from human activities. The vast majority of land contamination is a result of the industrial revolution, however contamination still exists from Roman times and "spoil" from Roman lead and silver mines is visible in many parts of North Wales, including some areas of Wrexham County Borough. Land can be affected by contamination in a variety of forms, for example chemicals in the soil, gases in the soil/water/buildings, or other types of material such as asbestos. The existence of significant quantities of contamination on a site could have a number of impacts, such as: people being exposed to the contamination and their health affected, plants (including vegetables) grown on the land could become contaminated and affect people if they enter the food chain, chemical releases to water may make the water unsuitable for drinking or affect river ecology.

The Council has two main regimes with which to deal with land contamination:

The decision about which regime should be used to address potential contamination issues is based on whether the land is in a state where development could take place (in which case the planning regime would be used), or whether the land is already developed (in which case Part2a would be used). There are no other factors which would determine which regime is used, the amount of contamination for instance is not relevant therefore in that respect no distinction should be drawn between the two regimes.

It is the Council’s aim to ensure that any site developed under the planning regime considers and addresses all potential contamination issues for the lifetime of the development to ensure it is suitable for use. Therefore those sites where contamination issues have been dealt with through the planning regime should not need to be re-visited under Part 2a.

The Council’s view is that provided contamination is adequately assessed and remediated where required under either of the two regimes, and provided there are no significant unforeseen changes at the site, the general principle is the same: that following the works a significant risk is no longer present.

As well as dealing with contamination issues under the Part IIA and Planning regimes, the Contaminated Land Officers also carry out other work associated with land contamination issues, in particular:

For further information please contact the Contaminated Land Officers on 01978 298870 or email contaminatedland@wrexham.gov.uk.

Useful Links

You may find other useful information on the following websites: