Contaminated Land - Do you know the facts?

Posted: 19/06/2012

Do you want to know how Contaminated Land might effect a property and why it is so important to find out if your potential new home is effected by it?

If so, all of your questions will be answered below courtesy of Pali.

What is Contaminated Land?

There are thousands of sites that class as Contaminated Land across the country. These sites may present a hazard to you and the environment but the land is slowly being reclaimed by developers because of the growing need to of affordable housing. The introduction of the Environment Protection Act 1990 now part of the Environment Act 1995 ensures that contaminated land must be identified to prevent health risks.

How is land contaminated?

Land can become contaminated when previously used as an industrial site such as a factory. Products that were used or produced may have left hazardous residues but these Contaminated Land sites are the preferred choice to develop over Greenfield sites such as woodland.

What is Radioactive land contamination?

There are varying degrees of contaminated land, the worst of these being Radioactive Contaminated Land. Before 1963, there was very little regulation to control radioactive substances in the UK therefore, many industries used radioactive substances such as radium based paints to create a luminous effect. This means that land became contaminated very easily when substances were spilled as a result of poor factory or workforce management.

If the property you want to purchase is on Contaminated Land

If you have had a Contaminated Land report carried out by Pali and it comes back positive to contamination, there are three options you can choose;

> To withdraw from the purchase of the property on the basis that potential remediation costs of the land will outweigh the value of the property. This could be seen as a dramatic measure depending on the severity of the contamination.

>Purchase the property making an allowance for any estimated clean up costs further down the line. This is a less desirable option as costs to clean contaminated land can very greatly.

>Purchase the property with the benefit of a contaminated land insurance policy. This is the more desirable option when the purchaser is able to proceed with the transaction and doesn’t need to make any extra allowances.

What is Contaminated Land Insurance?

Purchasing Contaminated Land insurance used to be time consuming and expensive with cover only being offered on a bespoke basis for commercial properties. However, a new breed of Contaminated Land insurance has recently been brought to the market which is now available on a scheme basis with cover available for lower value risks up to £1m for residential properties. The Contaminated Land insurance Pali provides is by CLS ConveySure and covers residential property for up to 12 years and gives acreage options such as half an acre for £50 or 5 acres for £80.

Why purchase Contaminated Land Insurance?

Contaminated Land insurance provides peace of mind from contaminated land liabilities. Contaminated Land insurance can be purchased for residential properties as well as commercial properties.

If you would like to purchase a Contaminated Land Search as part of Pali’s Environmental Report or would like to learn more about Contaminated Land insurance, please contact Pali on 0151 691 1170 or email

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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