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Contaminated land and environmental searches

We provide a contaminated land search facility, producing environmental search reports for the public, developers and for environmental contractors/consultants.

Why have a contaminated land search?

As part of the house buying process an environmental search is often undertaken by a private search company who offer a professional opinion and a 'certificate'. Such certificates are not a legal requirement and are intended to help you interpret the findings of your commercial environmental search.

If you are not issued with a certificate, or the professional opinion requires further action, it does not mean that the land is contaminated, just that more detailed information may be needed. A contaminated land search undertaken by your local authority can provide you with the further information you need.

Developers and consultants may require detailed information in order to help characterise sites and inform decisions prior to their redevelopment.

Information provided in a contaminated land search

We undertake searches based on the radius requested and will include all:

  • site history, based on historical Ordnance Survey mapping, noting the presence of any potentially contaminating former land uses such as landfills and industrial processes.
  • permitted processes under the PPC regulations 2000.

This will also include a search of our records with:

  • any known records of gas emissions and contamination issues in the immediate area
  • any known remediation or remediation notices
  • information from site investigations and remediation reports held
  • details of the site in regards to our Inspection Strategy under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Should you require any further detailed information an additional cost may be incurred.

Applying for a contaminated land search

We charge £73 per hour (plus VAT) for our searches, this covers the cost of officer time spent searching records and preparing the response.

We will respond to your enquiry within 20 working days from receipt of payment.

Small sites

As a general rule, a small site is defined as a property of less than one hectare in size (10,000m2) with a 250m search radius, this will include most residential properties.

Large sites

If you require a search on a larger site (commercial/industrial premises) or including a larger radius, please contact us for advice.


Contact our Environmental Health team by email with your request so we can give you a quote for the cost.

Please include:

  • Any details you have in relation to further action highlighted by independent searches
  • the address or plan of the area that you would like us to look at
  • questions that you would like answered.

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