There are many vital factors to consider prior to making any type of land or property aquisition,and environmental pollution plays a big 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 checks are such an important part of due diligence for any land or property aquisition.
Types of environmental contamination
There are several different types of environmental pollutants that can cause dangers to the people who occupy land. Very often 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 that can be inhaled or contamination in soils which can be transmitted to foods grown on the land as well as grazing animals,and can also impact on the health of anybody working the soil.
Indirect contaminants can also damage property 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 or could even cause fires or explosions.
Examples of contaminants include:
– Lead or other heavy metals such as cadmium or arsenic
– Tar and oil
– Radioactive materials
– Chemical substances and solvents
You can discover more about contaminated land on the UK government website.
What iscontaminated 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 containing 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
In many cases the contamination has been caused by previous use of the land by:
– For mining
– Steel milling
– Landfill sites
Contaminated land may 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 the manufacture of 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 Ministry of Defence
– 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 may cause some concerns,however. Most 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 monitor the development of brownfield sites or any possible environmental hazards thus presented. Now however,things are very different,but it has to be said that the majority of brownfield site developments are perfectly safe for residential use. Selling homes in these areas can present some conveyancing problems,though.
If you have any concerns about environmental contamination which could impact on your property purchase,give the experts at www.argyllenvironmental.co.uk a call to discuss your worries.