that’s free from contamination.

There are many important issues to take into account prior to making any type of land or property purchase,and environmental pollution plays a major part. In the very worst scenario,environmental land pollution presents hazards,to users and or residents of the site. This is one of the reasons environmental risk surveys are such an important part of due diligence for any land or property purchase.

Types of environmental pollutants

There are several different types of environmental pollutants that can cause dangers to land users. In many cases these are connected with previous industrial use of land,although this is not always true as natural pollutants can also be a hazard.

There are many types of contaminants,these contaminants can include dust or gas pollutants which can be inhaled or pollutants in soils which can be passed on to foods grown on the land and any grazing animals,and can also impact on the health of anybody working the soil.

Other contaminants can also damage buildings or leach out of the soil due to effects of groundwater or any river,stream or pond in the vicinity. Some of these contaminants are corrosive and could even cause fires or explosions.

Examples of contaminants include:

– Lead or other heavy metals such as cadmium or arsenic
– Tar and oil
– Asbestos
– Radioactive materials
– Chemical substances and solvents
– Gas

You can discover more about contaminated land on the UK government website.

What isthe definition ofcontaminated land?

If you want more information on contaminated land or read technical guides on dealing with special sites on the website of the Environment Agency.

The legal definition of ‘contaminated land’ relates to land which contains substances which can cause:

– Very significant damage to property,people or protected species
– Harm due to radioactivity
– Pollution to surface waters,such as lakes or rivers,or groundwater

Some of the reasons for land contamination are when it has been previously used as:

– Factories
– For mining
– Steel milling
– Refining
– Landfill sites

Contaminated land can also fall into a ‘special sites’ category. These sites could:

– Make any water on the land unusable without significant cleansing
– Previously have been used for activities like oil refining or making explosives
– Have previously been regulated under permits relating to integrated pollution controls or prevention
– Previously have been used for disposal of acid tars
– Have been used by the MOD
– Previously been used in connection with the nuclear industry or be contaminated with radioactivity

What about brownfield sites?

Most recent Governments want to bring what’s termed brownfield land back into use in order to help preserve the greenfield sites and land within rural areas. This land regeneration often causes concerns,however. The majority of larger towns and cities contain areas and sites that are disused and due to demand,development of these brownfield sites and derelict buildings are increasingly common.

In the past minimal regulations were in place to check on the development of brownfield sites or any potential environmental hazards thus presented. This is no longer the case,however, it has to be said that the majority of brownfield site developments are perfectly safe for residential use. But saying that,selling houses in these neighbourhoods can present some conveyancing problems,though.

If you have any concerns about environmental pollutants which could impact on your property purchase,give the experts at a call to discuss your worries.

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