MPs urge changes to contaminated land proposals

Several significant amendments to the Government's draft guidance on the new regime for dealing with contaminated land have been urged in a report by the House of Commons Environment Committee.1 The report says that local authorities should be given one year after preparing strategies for identifying contaminated sites to complete their initial inspections so as to avoid blighting land. Another key recommendation is that clean-up liabilities should be determined by compulsory arbitration rather than left to local councils to resolve. The report also makes important recommendations on how contaminated sites causing water pollution should be addressed, and urges the Government to close a new "statutory gap" which will curtail local authorities' powers to deal with less polluted sites causing a statutory nuisance.

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