Contaminated land

Newham has an industrial history which may have left land contaminated (polluted). If you own or want to develop land in the borough, you must check whether that land is contaminated to make sure it is safe for use. 

Contaminated land: our responsibilities 

Our Contaminated land strategy (PDF) sets out our responsibilities. We will: 

  • Investigate areas of land which might be contaminated  
  • Arrange for the clean-up of seriously contaminated land 
  • Make sure that old industrial land (brownfield sites) are safely brought back into use 
  • Keep a register of contamination in Newham 
  • Give information and advice to the public on land contamination 
  • Provide reports on land contamination to developers and others.  

Developing potentially contaminated sites 

If you want to develop land, and you apply for planning permission, you may need to prepare a report on the possibility of contamination on that land. 

Download a guide to preparing reports (PDF)

Contaminated land: information we hold 

Register of contamination 

You can use the register of contamination for free. Contact us to search the register. 

Environmental and geographical reports

We hold a database of environmental and geographical reports, which you can use in support of a planning application. If you wish to develop or buy land, we can supply a standard report which includes information on the subjects below. We charge for this service. 

The database includes: 

  • Prioritisation of potentially contaminated sites 
  • Ground investigations by experts in a study area 
  • Land legally declared as contaminated 
  • Premises regulated by us under environmental law 
  • Previous land use (based on 6-inch Ordinance Survey maps) 
  • Historical maps of land use (based on Ordinance Survey maps) 
  • Landfill data and gas susceptibility 
  • Aquifer vulnerability 
  • Hydrogeology 
  • Boreholes and wells 
  • Water source protection zones 
  • Conservation sites and sites of special scientific interest 
  • Risks from unexploded WW2 bombs and ammunition 
  • Areas which may be affected by noise and vibration from underground railways 
  • Areas which fall within the council’s air-quality management area due to high levels of air pollution 
  • Radon status. 

Fees for environmental reports 

For a written report investigating contaminated land at: 

A residential property site

£225 (excluding VAT)

A specific development/commercial site in area of up to 250m centred upon a specific site

£425 (excluding VAT)

A large development site or multiple areas within a large development site, and an area greater than 250m centred upon a specific site

Price dependent on complexity and to be agreed with applicant

Minimum fee £625, any additional enquiries £80 per hour (excluding VAT)

The full fees and charges schedule for additional services is available upon request.