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Researching the potential for contamination to be present

In a few simple steps you can get an initial indication as to the possibility of contamination being present at a particular property or piece of land.

  1. research the past and present land uses and identify the potential contaminants associated with those land uses and activities;

  2. check the status of the property under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and

  3. ascertain whether land contamination was dealt with when the property was built.

To help you research past and present land uses and potential contaminants we provide access to:

Historic maps and aerial photographs of Dudley

Historic maps and aerial photographs can be studied to determine the former use of land and identify potentially contaminative land uses such as industrial premises.

We provide an online archive of historic mapping and aerial photography. The facility allows you to select an address and displays the current mapping at that location; you can then choose to view historic mapping and aerial imagery.

Please use the following link to access Dudley borough's historic maps and aerial photographs.

Planning and building control information

For more recent housing developments the potential for land contamination should have been considered and dealt with as part of the planning and development control process. Conditions may have been attached to the planning approval for a particular development requiring that certain investigations and remediation be carried out. Information about the planning history of a site and whether the requirements of planning conditions have been satisfied is available from the Planning Section.

The Building Control Section carries out the council’s statutory duty of applying Building Regulations to ensure that buildings are safe, energy efficient and accessible. Information about ground-related problems such as ground movement, instability, aggressive soil conditions, and contamination and ground gases is available from the Building Control Section.

Industry profiles

The series of DOE Industry Profiles publications provide information on the processes, materials, wastes and potential contaminants associated with a variety of industrial activities and land uses. The 47 original publications are available on the CL:AIRE website. In addition, Defra has published an Industry Profile which focuses on land uses which may be subject to radiological contamination.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from very small amounts of uranium in all rocks and soils. It is present throughout the UK but due to geological and soil conditions higher concentrations may exist in certain areas.

The Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) and the British Geological Survey have compiled a radon dataset for England and Wales that provides a radon-probability banding for individual property with a valid postal address. A search can be carried out on the UKradon website. The website also provides further information about radon. A simplified version of the dataset has been published as the Indicative Atlas of Radon in England and Wales (HPA-RPD-033) and this atlas is available from the Public Health England website.


Landfill Sites

A landfill site can be defined in simple terms as a site used for the disposal of waste materials by burial. However, the nature of historic waste disposal practices in the Dudley borough tends to complicate things a little and it is not always clear what constitutes a landfill site.

Our website includes a section devoted to Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which contains the following:

Contaminated land inspection strategy

Under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Part 2A) we have a statutory duty to inspect our areas for the purposes of identifying contaminated land, and where such land is identified we have the power to secure its remediation.

Contaminated land inspection strategy


Cost recovery policy

Part 2A introduces the concepts of Class A and Class B appropriate persons. An appropriate person is any person who is to bear responsibility for anything which is to be done by way of remediation in any particular case.

In the first instance, any persons who caused or knowingly permitted a substance to be in, on or under the land (Class A persons) are responsible. Where no Class A persons can be found, responsibility passes to the current owner or occupier of the land (Class B persons).

The council’s Cost Recovery Policy sets out the circumstances in which the council will waive or reduce costs associated with the remediation of contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Public register held under Section 78R

We are required to maintain a public register containing information relating to Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The contents of the register are prescribed by regulations and it is important to realise that the register is not a list of sites that are or might be contaminated.


With respect to whether land contamination was dealt with when a property was built, Planning Development Control and Building Control may hold relevant information and appropriate links are provided.

It is important to realise that simply identifying the possible presence of contamination doesn't mean there is a risk and it is not sufficient grounds upon which to base any determination under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Should you be unable to find the information you want you could consider making enquiries under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.