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Contaminated Land Assessments

A contaminated land assessment is the name given to an audit of a site that is proposed for either redevelopment or for transfer of liability.

These aspects are usually driven by a Planning Condition from the Local Authority, or as part of Due Diligence on the part of the vendor/purchaser.

The overall aim of the Contaminated Land Assessment is to determine if a site has the potential to present a significant risk to sensitive receptors. If there is deemed to be a risk it is then necessary to set out methodology to render the site suitable for the proposed end use. This will be determined within a Remediation Method Statement, which once agreed with the regulator should be enacted, and will include an agreed validation criteria.

Planning Conditions that require a Contaminated Land Assessment are often set out in a phased order, with the stages progressed as deemed necessary during ongoing works.

As part of a Due Diligence assessment, it is often prudent to determine the extent of impacted ground given that this often has a significant impact on the land value. If a site is presenting a risk to off-site receptors Part IIa of the Environmental Protection Act places an obligation on the site owner to mitigate the risk through remedial works, meaning this could be a costly oversight if not identified pre purchase

If a commercial site is being acquired for redevelopment as residential housing, the criteria for soil quality is much more sensitive than for an ongoing commercial use. A Due Diligence Assessment will look  to model encountered soil results with regards to the future site use, allowing determination of outline clean-up costs. This figure can then be used in negotiations on purchase price, usually coving the cost of the ground investigation many times over.

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