Contaminated land

Contaminated land includes land polluted by:

  • heavy metals
  • oils
  • chemical substances
  • gases
  • asbestos
  • radioactive substances.

Visit the government’s website to find out more about contaminated land

Inspection responsibilities

Under Part 2 A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all local authorities have a duty to inspect their land to identify where contamination is present. This is to ensure that the appropriate person (the polluter) is made to improve the land to a standard that makes it ‘suitable for its use’. 

We have written a draft strategy which identifies the local arrangements for fulfilling the contaminated land inspection. 

View our contaminated land inspection strategy

Public register

Continuing our legislative responsibilities, we are required to produce and maintain a public register of any lands within our borough that have been designated as contaminated land, as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 

Currently there are no entries on the public register. If any entries are added to the register they will be listed on this webpage.

Planning permissions

When an application is made to the council for planning permission, we check our records for historical land use and other environmental factors. If necessary, a condition will be added to the planning authorisation stating that a desktop study must be carried out into the condition of the land.

If the survey shows that the site could be contaminated, an intrusive site investigation must then be carried out. This is to determine the content and extent of the contamination. The land must then be remediated to a standard that makes it suitable for the end use of the site.

Preventing contamination

We are also involved with the preventing pollution that could lead to the contamination of land. Along with the Environment Agency, we are responsible for the authorisation and monitoring of all polluting processes within Woking Borough. This ensures that all industrial and commercial processes are actively controlled, and that appropriate standards are enforced.

Environmental information requests

Requests for environmental information, under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, should:

  • be made in writing (letter or email).
  • be sent to: Contaminated Land Officer, Estate Management Department, Woking Borough Council, Civic Office, Gloucester Square, Woking, GU21 6YL; or, emailed to  
  • be headed ‘Environmental information request’ and clearly providing the full address with postcode of the area to be searched.
  • include an appropriately scaled site plan with the boundary of the land clearly marked, preferably in red.
  • have questions that are clear, precise and unambiguous.

Applicants should note that a charge applies for environmental information

Once requests have been received they will be reviewed and confirmation of the charge will be provided. The charge will need to be agreed prior to any work being undertaken.

More information

Visit Information Commissioner’s Office website to find out more about environmental information regulations