Land can be contaminated by things like:

  • heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium and lead
  • oils and tars
  • chemical substances and preparations, like solvents
  • gases
  • asbestos
  • radioactive substances

What counts as contaminated land

Land is legally defined as ‘contaminated land’ where substances are causing or could cause:

  • significant harm to people, property or protected species
  • significant pollution of surface waters (for example lakes and rivers) or groundwater
  • harm to people as a result of radioactivity

Part of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires the council to identify contaminated land that is posing an unacceptable risk to human health or the wider environment and to find remedies.

Medway Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy sets out how contaminated land will be identified and how sites will be prioritised.

The prioritisation of sites will ensure that resources are concentrated on investigating areas where contaminated land is most likely to be found and allow the most pressing and serious problems to be located first. The strategy follows a prioritised approach, with human health as the highest priority.

Report contaminated land

Environmental searches

We can provide environmental information on sites within the Medway area. The council makes a standard charge of £150 (zero rated VAT) for the supply of environmental information.

Before supplying information, we require payment, the national grid reference and a map of the site at 1:2500 or 1:1250 scale. This should identify the site clearly and show the surrounding area to a radius of not less than 500m. Cheques should be made payable to Medway Council and the required information should be sent to Gun Wharf.

On receiving this, the Kent Landfill Atlas will be used to assess whether there are any known landfill sites within 250 metres of the site in question. Reference will also be made to the public register of processes to establish whether any processes are located in the vicinity of the site. Brief details of historic land-use and any known pollution incidents or environmental concerns can be provided.

Details will normally be supplied within 10 working days of receiving an order or payment. Should you require more detailed information, please write to confirm your requirements. An estimate of the cost for providing additional information will be provided within 10 days of receiving an enquiry, together with an indication of the time within which the information can be supplied.