Contaminated Land

We aim to ensure that contaminated land does not cause unacceptable risks to human health, property and the wider natural environment. Where land is causing such risks, we will aim to secure appropriate mitigation or remediation.


Despite the perceived rural nature of South Somerset, there has been various thriving industries occurring in the region for a number of years.

Today there is an important manufacturing and engineering industry in the Yeovil area particularly those relating to the aeronautical industry. Historically industrial processes were frequently poorly controlled. As a result land and groundwater at the locations of such processes may have been contaminated by spillages and emissions of chemicals used or produced.

In addition to the above the legacy of historical contamination in the district has been contributed to by activities such as waste disposal, energy production, fuel storage / supply and those undertaken on railway land and military sites. Such sites may currently be derelict, in active commercial or industrial use or may have been redeveloped for other purposes such as housing.

Today such processes are carefully controlled and regulated however further pollution incidents can occur resulting in the creation of 'new' pollution.

 Remediation of contaminated sites in South Somerset is secured via the following mechanisms:

  • Through redevelopment

The planning process enables us to ensure the undertaking of appropriate investigation at any potentially contaminated site which is subject to redevelopment or any change of land use requiring planning permission. Mitigation or remediation may then be required to ensure that the land is suitable for the intended use.

  • Through the enforcement of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

The legislation enables us to enforce remediation to be undertaken by appropriate persons at problematic contaminated sites which are not being proactively dealt with by other means.

In addition, we will provide advice on general land contamination issues, respond to specific site enquiries and ensure that pollution incidents and emergencies are dealt with correctly.


Contaminated land information requests

We store various information relevant to contaminated land issues at specific sites across South Somerset.

This includes data and information which we have collected from third parties. In addition, our officers may have specific local knowledge about particular areas or sites. We are required to make certain information available to the public under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Environmental information, which can be provided, includes:

  • Information relating to nearby landfills and waste management facilities
  • Private water supply details
  • Site investigation and remediation records
  • Details of processes regulated under the Pollution Prevention and Control  Act
  • Part IIA public register entries
  • Geological records showing locations of disturbed / filled ground (made ground)

In some cases, additional information may be provided, if requested, relating to a specific issue. It should be noted that available information is restricted to that which is held/known by us. In some cases information may be incomplete and additional information may be available from alternative sources. Information may also be at variance to actual conditions.

Supply a written request with details of required information along with a site address and location plan to the Environmental Protection team

The provision of information on land uses (up to 250m around the site in cases of contaminated land) is subject to a fee of £30.00 inc VAT per request.  Payment is required prior to the work commencing.  Cheques are made payable to South Somerset District Council.


Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy

Under the contaminated land provisions contained within Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 a local authority is required to "cause its area to be inspected from time to time for the purpose of identifying contaminated land".

Find out more about the Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy


Contaminated land and planning

Land contamination is a material consideration for the purposes of town and country planning.

Find out more about contaminated land and planning


Pollution incidents

Accidental or deliberate releases of contaminants such as oils and chemicals may be harmful to human health and the environment.

Find out more about pollution incidents

 Useful Contacts:

Public Register

Environment Agency