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Land Quality

Nottingham City Council has a responsibility to ensure that the land within its boundaries is 'suitable for use'

Contaminated Land

If necessary, Nottingham City Council has statutory powers to enforce remediation of polluted land where there is a risk to public health, the environment or property. The Nottingham City Council's Contaminated Land Strategy can be downloaded from the link below.

The Council's priorities in order of importance are: -

  • To protect human health
  • To protect controlled waters
  • To protect designated ecosystems
  • To prevent damage to property
  • To prevent any further land contamination
  • To encourage voluntary remediation
  • To encourage the re-use of land considered to be brownfield or contaminated

We have been working with other Local Authorities in Nottinghamshire to produce a guide for developers of land where previous contamination uses may have occurred. The guide should also provide a consistent approach to the development of contaminated land in Nottingham.

What is Contaminated Land?

The Local Authority (Nottingham City Council) is the regulatory authority for contaminated land within the boundaries of the City of Nottingham.  

Contaminated land is defined in section 78A(2) of Part 2A as: -

Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in on or under the land, that:

  • Significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
  • Pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused

The Water Act 2003 s86 modified the definition of contaminated land related to controlled waters as:

Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in on or under the land, that:

  • Significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
  • Significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused

Special Sites

In certain cases, the Environment Agency is the regulatory authority for the contaminated land legislation. This arises if the site under investigation has been used for certain processes, or if the site is situated on bedrock classed as a Principal Aquifer (i.e. water-bearing strata, formerly 'Major Aquifer'). In the legislation, these sites are referred to as "Special Sites".  Details are given in Statutory Instrument 2000 No 227 The Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000, Section 2 and Schedule 1Opens new window

There are two principal aquifers in the Nottingham City Council area, the Upper Permian Cadeby Formation (formerly Lower Magnesian Limestone, locally "Bulwell Stone") and the Permo-Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group rocks, which include the Lenton Sandstone and the Nottingham Castle Sandstone Formations (formerly Lower Mottled Sandstone and Bunter Pebble Beds respectively).

Currently, no sites have been determined as contaminated land or Special Sites in the Nottingham City Council area.

Growing Edible Crops

There is some pressure at the moment to use derelict or previous industrial land for growing edible crops, particularly in areas where allotments are already fully taken up. Some schools and community groups are showing an interest in growing fruit and vegetables for consumption. 

It is essential to ensure that any land used in this way does not contain unacceptable levels of pollutants that may affect the people working on the sites, or consuming the crops.  The Pollution Control Team staff can advise on the procedures for ground investigations to check for pollutants. Environmental Protection UK has produced a leaflet.

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