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Contaminated Land

Birmingham City Council identifies and manages polluted and contaminated land in Birmingham.
In some cases the land may be cleansed, for example the soil removed, treated and then replaced or disposed of. We also advise during the planning process, where planning applications are found to involve contaminated land.

The main functions of the Contaminated Land Team are:

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  1. Inspect all the land in the city to identify any contaminated land and take appropriate action to ensure risks or pollution of controlled waters are controlled, see Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy and Public Register below.
  2. Provide guidance to the Department of Planning in respect of development on brownfield land and liaise with developers as necessary, see Information for Developers below.
  3. Operate an Environmental Enquiry Service to provide environmental information to the public, solicitors and environmental contractors. The service provides environmental information such as closed landfill sites, authorised processes, waste management sites and any assessments carried out by the team.
  4. Seize vehicles suspected of criminal environmental offences (such as fly-tipping) and publish Vehicle Seizure Notices.

Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy and Public Register

We are required by law to inspect all land within the city to identify areas of contamination. As part of this obligation we had to prepare and publish an inspection strategy detailing how this was to be carried out, attached below.

Environmental Search Reports advise whether an assessment has been carried out as part of the implementation of the Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy and whether further inspection of the land is proposed.

If any land is identified which poses a significant risk to persons or is polluting controlled waters then the land will be entered on the Public Register of Contaminated Land, attached below.

The absence of an entry on the register does not guarantee that:

  • the land is free from contamination, as it may not have been fully assessed
  • the contamination present does not pose significant risk
  • contamination present is not polluting controlled waters.

Information for Developers

It is increasingly common for brownfield land (land that has been previously used for something else - excluding agricultural uses) to be redeveloped. The team are consulted on planning application for development and we provide advice to the Department of Planning at the reapplication, planning and post-development stages.

On land where there is likely to be significant contamination it is important that prior to seeking planning approval, or to comply with a planning condition, you undertake a site investigation on the development site. This will help identify any contamination that may pose a risk to future occupants of the site.

 PDF Contaminated Land - Guidance for Developers (Size: 27.6 Kb Type: PDF )


This document contains guidance on undertaking a site investigation and the matters to be considered when submitting a remediation proposal for approval.

 PDF Contaminated Land - Guidance on the Verification of Cover Systems (Size: 10.7 Kb Type: PDF )


To discharge the conditions of any planning approval, the applicant must demonstrate, by documentary evidence and appropriate sampling, that remediation works have been carried out as agreed. This document sets out how to go about this.