Although Argyll and Bute is a predominantly rural area there is a history of limited industrial activity. There is a possibility that such activity may have left contamination in the ground but this does not mean that there is a problem because the concentration of contaminants may not be high enough to cause harm. There may also be no pathway that allows the contamination to affect sensitive receptors such as people or the water environment.
Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act in 2000 and placed a duty on councils to identify land that may be contaminated land and to assess whether it is covered by the legal definition that would require it to be cleaned up. The Council has produced a strategy to describe its approach to the identification and prioritisation for assessment of historic industrial sites and can be downloaded here. Details of sites which have been determined to be contaminated are held on a public register but no such sites have yet been identified.
If it is considered that a proposed development is on land that may be contaminated then conditions may be added to the planning permission that will require a site investigation to be undertaken and, if necessary, remediated. A guide is available to provide advice to all those involved in the development of land that may be contaminated and can be downloaded here. If a site investigation reveals that land is contaminated then it is the responsibility of the developer that the land is remediated to a condition which is suitable for its intended use.
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