Contaminated land

The environmental quality team deals with the identification of contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the improvement of land quality through the planning process. We also handle enquiries and produce environmental searches.

Contaminated land enquiries

If you are purchasing a new property, intending to redevelop a site or you just want to know whether you live on or near potentially contaminated land, an environmental search may be recommended.

The aim of an environmental search report is to identify potentially contaminated land issues that may exist at a site or in close proximity to a site.

The report provides the following information:

  • A4 map extracts of all historical maps going back to 1869
  • full review of historical maps going back to the 1830s
  • full review of all planning applications relating to your property/site and in close proximity
  • review of council records relating to potentially contaminative uses of the property/site
  • review of any site investigation and any remediation reports relating to your property or site and in close proximity (where available)
  • details of any authorised processes within proximity to the property/site
  • answers to any specific questions you may have in relation to the property/site.

How do I order a report?

Please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page with the following information:

  • Your name, company name (where applicable), telephone number, postal address and email address
  • Address of the property/site and if possible a site plan showing the boundary of the property/site
  • Any specific questions that you would like answered in relation to the property/site
  • Written confirmation that you are willing to pay our fees.

How much does it cost?

The charges are as follows and payment must me received before the search can be provided:

  • Residential property - £63 plus VAT 
  • Commercial property - £125 plus VAT

A scaled increase is applied to these charges for large sites or adjacent properties. Please contact the environmental quality team for more specific rates. 

Cheques should be made payable to 'The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham' and sent to the address at the bottom of the page. Payment may also be taken over the phone by calling 0208 753 2568. Payment by telephone generates an automatic VAT receipt.

How long does it take?

We aim to produce reports within 15 working days of receiving payment and may be able to accommodate you if you need it sooner.

Once the report is ready we will email it to you as a PDF. A hard copy can be provided on request without further charge. 

Soil testing near the Grenfell site

Independent soil testing was carried out in June 2019 to assess the level of contamination on land in the Edward Woods estate. Read the report and findings on soil testing near the Grenfell site.

Contaminated land inspection strategy

Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy 2001 (pdf 543KB)

This strategy sets out how the council intends to deal with any contaminated land issues in the borough over the next few years. 

Local Authorities are responsible for carrying out the work outlined in Part IIA of the Environment act 1990. Under Part IIA, Local Authorities have a duty to:

  • inspect their areas and identify contaminated land as defined in the Act;
  • establish the remediation required and who should be responsible for it; and
  • ensure that remediation takes place, if necessary by serving a remediation notice; and
  • record certain information on a public register.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all local authorities in England are required to produce and implement a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to identify any remaining sites in the borough that may have contamination issues so that they can be cleaned up and made suitable for use. 

Contaminated land register

The council are also responsible for maintaining a register of contaminated land in the borough. Please contact us if you would like to view a copy.

Planning issues relating to contaminated land

When making a planning application to the council, section 15 (Existing Use) of the application form asks several questions relating to:

  • land which is known to be contaminated
  • land where contamination is suspected for all or part of the site
  • a proposed use that would be particularly vulnerable to the presence of contamination. 

In order to answer these questions satisfactorily contact should be made with us. 

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The NPPF sets out the Governments planning policies for England and how they are to be applied. Issues relevant to contaminated land are discussed throughout the document and specifically in paragraph 121 which states that planning policies and decisions should ensure that:

  • The site is suitable for its new use taking account of ground conditions and land instability, including from natural hazards or former activities such as mining, pollution arising from previous uses and any proposals for mitigation including land remediation or impacts on the natural environment arising from that remediation;
  • After remediation, as a minimum, land should not be capable of being determined as contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and
  • Adequate site investigation information, prepared by a competent person.

Council's planning guidance

The council has produced a Supplementary Planning Document (pdf) which includes guidance on addressing contaminated land through the planning process (See page 90-117).

Environment Agency developer's guide

Developers should consult the Environment Agency: land contamination technical guidance for developing on contaminated land sites.

Environmental search reports

As part of carrying out environmental assessments for sites we are able to produce environmental search reports which give details on the history of the site and council records relating to the site. These searches should form part of the Preliminary Risk Assessment required as per planning condition 1 below.

Environmental Quality
Hammersmith Town Hall
King Street
W6 9JU
020 8753 1081