There are many vital factors to consider before making any kind of land or property purchase,and environmental pollution plays a big part. In the very worst scenario,environmental contamination presents hazards,to users and or residents of the land. This is one of the reasons environmental risk checks are such an important part of due diligence for any land or property purchase.
Types of environmental contamination
There are several different kinds of environmental pollutants that can cause dangers to land users. Very often these are connected with previous industrial use of land,although this is not always true as natural pollutants can also be a hazard.
There are many types of contaminants,these contaminants can include dust or gas pollutants which can be inhaled or contamination in soils which can be transmitted to foods grown on the land and any grazing animals,and can also impact on the health of anybody working the soil.
Indirect chemicals can also damage property or leach out of the soil due to effects of groundwater or any river,stream or pond in the vicinity. Some of these contaminants are corrosive and could even cause fires or explosions.
Examples of contaminants include:
– Lead or other heavy metals such as cadmium or arsenic
– Tar and oil
– Radioactive materials
– Chemical substances and solvents
You can find out more on the matter of contaminated land on the UK government website.
What iscontaminated land?
If you want to find out more about contaminated land or read technical guides on managing special sites on the website of the Environment Agency.
The legal definition of ‘contaminated land’ relates to land containing substances which can cause:
– Very significant damage to property,people or protected species
– Harm due to radioactivity
– Pollution to surface waters,such as lakes or rivers,or groundwater
Some of the reasons for land contamination are when it has been previously used as:
– For mining
– Steel milling
– Landfill sites
Contaminated land can also fall into a ‘special sites’ category. These sites could:
– Cause serious effects to any drinking water,or surface or groundwater
– Previously have been used for activities such as oil refining or the manufacture of explosives
– Have previously been regulated under permits relating to integrated pollution controls or prevention
– Previously have been used for disposal of acid tars
– Have been occupied or owned by the MOD
– Previously been used in connection with the nuclear industry or be contaminated with radioactivity
What about brownfield sites?
Most recent Governments want to bring what’s termed brownfield land back into use so that rural land can be preserved. This land regeneration often causes concerns,however. The majority of larger towns and cities contain areas and sites that are disused and due to demand,development of these brownfield sites and derelict buildings are increasingly common.
In the past minimal regulations were in place to monitor the development of brownfield sites or any potential environmental hazards thus presented. Now however,things are very different,but it has to be said most brownfield site developments are perfectly safe for residential use. Selling homes in these areas can present some conveyancing issues,though.
If you have any concerns about environmental contamination which could impact on your property purchase,give the experts at www.argyllenvironmental.co.uk a call to discuss your worries.