Contaminated land

Land is legally defined as ‘contaminated’ where substances are causing or could cause:

  • significant harm to people, property or protected species
  • significant pollution of surface waters (for example lakes and rivers) or groundwater.

Examples of contaminating substances include:

  • oils
  • landfill gases
  • asbestos
  • toxic metals. 

Contaminated land may previously have been used as a:

  • factory
  • car repair garage
  • industrial mill
  • petrol station
  • refinery
  • landfill

Request environmental information

What we provide

We can provide environmental information on sites in the borough to home buyers, vendors or solicitors. Information includes:

  • land-use history
  • details of site investigations and remedial works
  • location of former landfill sites
  • details of authorised industrial processes
  • pollution incident records
  • details of private water supplies.


We charge £125 (VAT exempt) to provide written responses to environmental information requests.

How to make a request

You will need to provide the:

  • address of the property, or land, with a postcode and if possible a plan confirming its location
  • nature of your interest in the land
  • whether any specific issues have prompted the enquiry 
  • type of information required.

To request and pay, please call our Environment and Community Protection team on 01442 228000.

Please note: these enquiries are different to those carried out in a Local Land Charges search.

Developing on contaminated land

It is the responsibility of the developer and/or landowner to identify contaminated land. You must also carry out remediation work to ensure safe development. We will check that this work is suitable.

If you are seeking planning permission for development, you should assume contamination is a possibility in relation to:

  • all land subject to, or next to, previous industrial uses
  • planned land uses particularly sensitive to contamination. For example, housing, schools, hospitals, children’s play areas.

Developers must provide a contamination assessment in support of a planning application, or as a condition of planning permission.

Technical advice

There is national advice available on the Government and Planning Portal websites.

Locally, and in partnership with the Environment Agency and other local councils, we have put together some technical advice for:

  • applicants
  • developers
  • land owners
  • consultants

Download a copy of the guidance document:  Development on potentially contaminated land (PDF 448KB).

Please note: We will revise this guidance from time to time to reflect Government requirements, changes in the law and best practice.

Small development self-assessment questionnaire

Planning applicants of small developments with a proposed sensitive end use on existing residential or greenfield sites may not need a formal land contamination assessment.

Download our  Sensitive end use land contamination questionnaire (PDF 13KB). We will use this information to assess whether you need a formal assessment.

Contaminated Land Strategy

Our Contaminated Land Strategy explains how we deal with contaminated land in Dacorum. It details how we identify and prioritise sites for further investigation. It also includes information on remediation, those responsible for remediation and how we enforce the law.

Contaminated Land Register

We currently have no sites that have been determined as contaminated. Our public register has no entries.

Contact us

Telephone: 01442 228000 

Page Last Updated: Thursday, 04 July 2024 at 01:32 PM