In order to tackle a legacy of historical contamination, the contaminated land regime was introduced in Scotland through Part I IA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires the council to undertake a series of specific functions including inspecting its land for potential contamination.
Within West Dunbartonshire Council this responsibility has been passed to the Public Health and Pollution Team within Environmental Health. In undertaking our duties, a revised Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy (2014) has been developed. This is to ensure that we are able to continue to adopt a strategic approach during difficult financial times with a focus on a more joined up approach with both internal and external partners.
As well as revising our strategy and as required under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. West Dunbartonshire Council considered whether the strategy should be subjected to a SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment). Our conclusions were that a SEA is not required with three statutory consultees (SEPA, SNH, Historic Scotland) agreeing with us. In accordance with the above Act, the Screening Report, Consultee Responses and Screening Determination are available for inspection.
In addition to the statutory provisions of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, many of the potentially contaminated sites within the area are dealt with through the planning process. If you are the owner or developer of a site it is your responsibility to investigate and address land contamination issues to ensure that the land is made suitable for the proposed end use.
To assist with this, West Dunbartonshire Council has worked with other neighbouring authorities to produce guidance for Developers. This provides advice as to what we as a local authority expect to be included in the documentation submitted as part of a planning application. Further information can be found on this can be found at:
Key to achieving this is that developers/owners appoint suitably qualified, experienced and competent environmental consultants at the earliest opportunity. In addition to this, and if intrusive investigations are required, you will also need to ensure:
Many delays and additional costs are a result of misinformed advice that has been given from the outset for which the local authority cannot be held accountable.
We are unable to recommend any individuals or companies to take on the role of environmental consultants however as a starting point you can find contact details in local trade directories, Yellow Pages and the Ends Directory.
We hold various records, both recent and historic, relating to contaminated land investigations. Most of our records are available for inspection on request. Alternatively, we can provide a factual statement however for this there is a charge applied. The charge applied depends on the context and complexity of your enquiry, availability of former records and area of land in question. In most instances we apply a charge of £122.50 + VAT however in exceptional circumstances there may be an additional charge per hour for overly complex and/or extensive requests.
All enquiries should be sent to our Department Inbox with any questions you may have and a clearly defined location map attached. Questions relating to Flooding, LAAPC/LAPPC authorisations and operational landfills should be directed to SEPA.