Contaminated land

About contaminated land

Land may become contaminated when substances have found their way on or into the ground, often due to industrial disposal, leaks or spillages.

These substances may still be present in the ground above the background or acceptable levels.

How we decide if land is contaminated

When we investigate contaminated land we follow the guidance set out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) using the Source, Pathway and Receptor principle.

All 3 elements must be present for the site to be legally defined as contaminated land.

  • The source is the contaminant that is likely to cause harm to people or the environment
  • pathway is a way in which the contaminant can reach a receptor
  • The receptor is the person or environment that could be harmed.

Read the DEFRA contaminated land guidance

Inspecting Rochdale borough for contaminated land

Our Contaminated Land Strategy sets out how we inspect Rochdale borough for potentially contaminated land.

View our Contaminated Land Strategy