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Land contamination

West Cumbria was once a thriving area for coal and iron ore mining.

Mining and quarrying have also influenced the current landscape, with colliery spoil tips and ironwork slagheaps widespread along our coastal strip.

Industrial, mining and waste disposal practices, particularly since the 18th century, have left a legacy of land contamination. 

When the Environment Act 1995 came into force it introduced Part IIA into the Environmental Protection Act 1990, specifically to deal with contaminated land. The aim of the legislation is to protect human health, controlled waters, ecological systems, buildings and other property. Part IIA is a joint initiative, enforced by Local Authorities (who are the lead regulator) and the Environment Agency.

As a statutory requirement under Part IIA, the Council revised its contaminated land inspection strategy. This document sets out how the council intends to inspect the whole of the district in order to identify, investigate, designate and remediate contaminated land to a standard that is suitable for use.

Under the regime it is the Council's responsibility to identify the individual and/or individuals liable for any remediation costs, ensuring where possible that the polluter pays.


Advice for residents

If you have any concerns your land has been contaminated we recommend you:

1. Contact your home insurance company

2. Seek advice from an experienced environmental consultant


If contaminated land has been identified as a concern on your land or home or future purchase, we recommend you:

1. Appoint an experienced environmental consultant

2. Ensure you have appropriate environmental insurance

3. Request for any contaminated land information via submitting an Environmental Information Request. Contact us here.

Advice for developers

Depending on the build, you may require a contaminated land risk assessment or a contaminated land questionnaire.

To assist please contact us if you require our guidance for developers.

Contaminated land public register

Contaminated land public register
ReferenceAddressDate determinedGrid referenceCommentsStatus
CL0001Carr Wood, Aspatria, Cumbria, CA7 3SZ10/05/2012NY 16263 43619Significant pollution of controlled watersNone
CL0002Gillbank, Former Tenters Gasworks, Wigton, Cumbria, CA7 9HE31/01/2013NY 325828 548461No longer meets the legal definition of contaminated land under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990Remediation complete
CL0003Horanne, Former Tenters Gasworks, Wigton, Cumbria, CA7 9HE31/01/2013NY 325855 548501Significant possibility of significant harm (human health)None
Council Strategy design

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