Planning Interactive Map


Epping Forest District Council has developed an Interactive Map which will allow you to search for the planning history of a property or site, using topographical information. The map combines planning records from 1948 to present day, allowing you to easily view the records that council has retained.

Using our map you can easily find the planning file number, planning reference number or location of an application via a simple address search. Data can be filtered by year in order to simply find the most recent applications for any location within our district.

If you have any feedback and/or queries please contact us at



The records available via the interactive map are provided solely in an attempt to be of assistance. Due to ongoing data improvement work the list of applications provided may not be fully complete. We would also advise that due to the passage of time some of the records for earlier years no longer exist.

If you choose to rely exclusively on this information the Council cannot accept liability for any consequent use you may make of the information provided.

Work is constantly in progress to improve the quality of this information. Should you require clarification or have any queries please contact us at



View Interactive Map












Planning Enforcement


The Council has a team of officers within the Directorate of Planning and Economic Development who are responsible for dealing with planning enforcement matters across the District. Planning enforcement is a discretionary service that is part of the Councils’ wider development control function. Even though the Council is not obliged by statute to provide a planning enforcement service, it recognises the importance of doing so in order to underpin the planning process. Furthermore, the Council recognises the benefits to residents and businesses in the District of taking prompt and appropriate action to deal with the harm that can sometimes be caused by breaches of planning control. At the same time, the Council acknowledges some breaches of planning control may not cause harm and/or have been carried out by a person who did not know the permission of the Council is required for the development concerned.

What does the Planning Enforcement Team do?

The Planning Enforcement Team can only investigate those matters that planning legislation places under the control of the District Council. These include:

  1. Development, including changes of use, without planning permission.
  2. Works affecting the special architectural or historic character of a listed building without Listed Building Consent.
  3. Demolition of a building in a conservation area without Conservation Area Consent.
  4. Removal of a tree in a conservation area without consent.
  5. Causing damage to or removal of a preserved tree without consent.
  6. The removal of more than 20 metres of continuous hedgerow without consent, where the length of hedgerow removed does not form a boundary with a residential property.
  7. Display of an advertisement without consent.

Our Local Enforcement Plan was adopted in December 2013 and gives details of how we investigate complaints and how you can make a complaint.

The Planning Enforcement Team’s primary concern is to deal with harm caused by breaches of planning control. To do so, it follows a process that starts with opening an investigation into alleged breaches of planning control and normally concludes when:

  • It is found there has in fact been no breach, or
  • Planning permission is subsequently granted, or
  • The harm caused by the breach has been dealt where the planning legislation allows.

However an enforcement investigation can also be closed if the Planning Enforcement Team considers that the harm from the unauthorised works is minor or if they consider that a retrospective planning application would likely be granted planning permission.

Applying for planning permission

If you propose to erect or alter a building, change the use of a building or land, form a vehicle access, or carry out work that can be described as an engineering operation, you may require planning permission

However certain developments do not require permission as they constitute ‘permitted development’ as laid out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order. Whilst such developments do not require planning permission, if you have any doubts, or if you would like a formal confirmation that a development does not require planning permission and is lawful, you should submit an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development.

Permitted Development rights do not exist if:
1)  The property is a flat, maisonette or used for any business.
2)  Your house has had its 'permitted development' rights removed.  (These are rights that allow you to do work without needing to ask permission.  They are most often removed by a condition which was set when the original permission to build your house was granted.  This is more likely if that was within the past 30 years - please check with the Development Management team.)

You can apply Portal Interactive Housefor a Certificate of Lawful development which will formally confirm whether planning is required at the Planning Portal

You can discuss your proposed scheme with a member of Development Management. However any advice given would only be informal and no confirmation from Development Management can be provided in writing except through the submission of a Certificate of Lawful Development, or if relevant, a Prior Approval application in the case of deeper single-storey rear extensions.

 You can also use the following tools on the Planning Portal to see if you need planning permission and to help you with your application.

Interactive house guide

Interactive terrace/flat/shop/basement guide

The Council encourages applicants to discuss their proposals with a Planning Officer before making their application. This might involve meeting with an Officer or just sending us your proposals for pre-application comments. This can help to overcome potential difficulties and to make sure your application deals with all the important planning considerations. This also enables any issues and serious shortcomings to be identified early and may save further time – and money! However, any views expressed by Officers are given without prejudice to any decision that may be finally made by the council.

You may also find it helpful to obtain advice from an independent planning specialist when drawing up your scheme. People who regularly prepare planning applications have the experience and expertise that can help make sure your scheme has the best chance of being granted consent. Spending time and effort in preparing your scheme is more likely to result in a good quality and acceptable development and also help us process your application quickly.

Quality Review Panel



Different types of development require different types of consent. Due to this, different application forms are available depending on the scope of the proposed works. Any works to a residential property (such as an extension or the erection of an outbuilding within the garden) should be applied for using a householder application form, works to a Listed Building should be applied for using a Listed Building Consent application form, etc. However, some developments will require more than one consent. In such cases a combined form may be available that deals with both consents through the use of one form (such as a Householder and Listed Building Consent form). Should you be unsure as to which form is relevant to your application then please contact Planning Services, as the submission of the wrong form may result in your application being considered invalid.

Please note - We now only require one copy of forms, plans and supporting documentation for your planning application.  

Most applications will also require further information and plans to be submitted. Please use the the Epping Forest District Council Planning Application Validation Requirements Checklist for current guidelines, which should be read carefully to ensure the correct information is provided. Failure to provide the required information and/or plans will result in your application being considered invalid.

Most applications can be submitted online using the online form available from the Planning Portal

Some consents (such as prior approvals) cannot be applied for online at this time and forms can be downloaded from the paper forms page at the Planning Portal, these forms should then be posted to us with the required payments.  A copy of the up-to-date fee sheet is available below.

If you need to find out if a planning condition has been discharged the following form should be used:

 If you need to find out if a planning condition has been discharged the following form should be used:

As well as applying for planning permission, please remember you may also need the permission of others as well. While this list should not be considered exhaustive, examples include the following:


Other Council Services

  • If you are carrying out building work you may need Building Regulations approval. To determine this please contact Building Control.
  • If you live in a listed building, and/or the building is in a conservation area, you may need separate Listed Building Consent. You may need this even if you don’t need planning permission. For further information or to find out if a building is listed, please contact Heritage Conservation.
  • If you live in an ex-council house, you probably need permission from the Housing Directorate to carry out the work. For further information, see details on Covenants and approvals (council properties).
  • Building within 8 metres of a watercourse requires Land Drainage consent. For further information please contact Flooding and Land Drainage.


The Party Wall Act

This is a matter of civil law, in other words it is between you and your neighbour, and does not involve the council. It does however mean that you may be required to notify your neighbour in writing before you start any building works if the work falls into one of the following categories:

  • Work to an existing wall or structure shared with another property
  • Building a wall of a building or a freestanding wall up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring owner
  • Excavating within 3 or 6 metres of a neighbouring building or structure.

Advice on party wall matters can be obtained by contacting the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. There is also an explanatory booklet produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government.


Building Over or Close to Sewers

If you are building over or within 3 metres of a public sewer you may need the local Water Authority’s permission. In most cases this is Thames Water Utilities (TWU) Note: TWU insists that any drain, laid before 1st October 1937, serving more than one property is a public sewer. 

After 1st April 2002, Building Regulations applications for new buildings and extensions, which involve building over or within 3 metres of a public sewer, must be Full Plan applications and a Building Notice application is therefore not acceptable.

For details of public sewers and building over agreements please contact Thames Water’s Asset Data Services.


Contaminated Land

Under its Part IIA Environmental Protection Act 1990 duties, this authority has identified potentially contaminated sites within the district and has prioritised these for further inspection.  Details of how the Part IIA requirements are being implemented in this district are contained in the council's Contaminated Land Strategy, and details can be found  in Contaminated Land Development Conditions.  


If you are aggrieved by the decision of the Local Planning Authority to refuse permission or approval for the proposed development, you may appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in accordance with Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  Appeals for England and Wales are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate and not by the Local Authority.







Planning - development control

Development control regulates the development and use of land. We cover planning applications and enforcement action. We monitor new developments and give advice about the planning system generally. We do not have control over building practices or property law.

Most planning applications are not contentious and are decided by our staff in accordance with the councils delegation agreement. However, large or potentially contentious applications are usually decided by panels of councillors.

We strive to provide the best service possible, but some planning applications can be complex and subject to variations in procedure. This can increase the time taken to make a decision. Delays can also develop for reasons outside our control.

What does the Development Control service offer?

We consider all applications for development, including changes of use of buildings, and for such things as the display of advertising and work to listed buildings

  • We give general advice on whether permission is needed and on design, listed buildings, conservation areas and trees affected by development
  • We give advice to encourage high quality applications, sustainable development and as smooth a passage through the planning system as possible
  • Where resources permit, we will try to negotiate an acceptable plan rather than refuse an unacceptable application without discussion
  • We consult with local people who may be affected by development proposals
  • We monitor development as it proceeds
  • We handle reports of breaches of planning control

Making Your Views Known - A guide to commenting on planning applications 

Making your views known

Our surroundings are in a process of constant change. Old buildings are demolished and replaced. Changes are made even to buildings familiar to generations of local people. Sometimes the changes are cosmetic such as a new advertising sign for a shop. Sometimes they are more substantial such as an extension or constructing an entirely new building.

Changes to buildings are governed by planning law. In most cases the developer needs to apply to the Council for planning permission before the changes can be made and in all cases the Council has to consider the application seriously.

We all have our own views on what makes a good or bad planning application. You don't need to own a property to make a planning application and you don't need to be a neighbour to object. No matter how trivial, major or outrageous you may think an application is, you have the right to object.

How do I comment?

Your objections or support for a planning application should be made to the Council in writing. We will accept your comments as late as possible but you are advised to try to reach us within the deadline set in our letters and notices to guarantee consideration of your views.

When we receive your letter, we are more likely to acknowledge receipt if you provide us with an email address. This email address will be used to let you know the next stage. Your comments or objections are not confidential. They form part of the public record when we consider the application and can be seen by the applicant.

You may also be able to speak directly to councillors at a plans meeting - see 'Who makes the decision' below for details.

Comments can be submitted electronically by going to our website

By law, we can only take your objections into account if they address relevant planning considerations. Relevant considerations include:

  • Is the new building or proposed use appropriate to the area?
  • Is the appearance of the new building satisfactory?
  • Will the development cause pollution, noise, flooding or other environmental problems?
  • Will there be loss of light to important rooms?
  • Will the development overlook and create loss of privacy?
  • Will the building appear bulky, overbearing or out of scale with neighbouring properties?
  • Is road safety or public footpaths adversely affected?

In other words, will the development make the area a less pleasant place in which to live or work. Loss of value to your property, motives or circumstances of the applicant, or any impact upon private rights, covenants or matters covered by other legislation are not relevant planning considerations. Generally, we are not able to enter into correspondence about the issues you raise.

The greater proportion of planning applications are decided by our planning officers. Only the most significant or controversial proposals are submitted to councillors on our planning committees plus those councillors call to committee as special cases. If your comments are on an application due to go to a planning committee we will do our best to let you know the date and venue of the meeting.

There is a right for three speakers to put their cases directly to planning committees, one for the applicant, one for the objectors and one for the local parish or town council. You will need to let us know by 4pm at the latest on the day before the meeting if you wish to speak. A leaflet - Your Voice Your Choice - gives more information on speaking at meetings.

However the application is decided, we will notify everyone who wrote to us of the decision.

If a planning application is granted approval, there is no right of appeal by objectors. However, if an application is refused, or if conditions are placed upon permission or the application is not considered within a certain timescale, the applicant can appeal. The decision is then taken out of the hands of the Council and given to a Government appointed Planning Inspector.

If we wrote to you or you made comments or an objection to an original planning application that then goes to appeal, we will write again to ask if you wish to make further comments to the Planning Inspector. However, there is an exception - due to changes in the Planning Act, we will write and inform you of a ‘householder appeal’ (extensions or outbuildings to dwellings), but you cannot make further comments. In all cases though, we will still send your original letter.

You can see us by visiting the Planning Reception on the second floor of the Civic Offices in Epping. You can look at a planning application at any time between 9.00 and 13.00. Without an appointment, case officers to help and advise you are usually only available from 9am to 10.30am but a duty planning officer is available up to 1pm.

Try to make your written comments clear and concise. Anonymous objections carry very little weight so please give your name and address.

You can also contact your local district councillor(s) online, or by telephone at 01992 464288 or from our Information Centres.

You are encouraged to copy any correspondence to your local Town or Parish Council. They do not decide the planning application but are a consultee. Your local council details are also available through our website or Information Centres.

New guidance on consultation from the Environment Agency 

Please note the new guidelines on consultation from the Environment Agency in respect of the recent changes under Class J of the GPDO concerning changes of use from offices to residential.

 Contaminated Land Development Conditions


Under its Part IIA Environmental Protection Act 1990 duties, this authority has identified Potentially Contaminated Sites within the District and has prioritised these sites for further inspection. Details of how the Part IIA requirements are being implemented in this district are contained in the Council’s Contaminated Land Strategy and further information can be obtained from the Environment and Street Scene Directorate.


Most of these Potentially Contaminated Sites will be investigated and where necessary remediated under the Planning Regime as they come up for redevelopment, through the imposition of land contamination conditions to relevant planning approvals.

The links listed below (A-G) provide information on how land contamination is dealt with under the Planning Regime.

For building control requirements please see Contaminated Land for Building Control.

For further information or advice on developing potentially contaminated land within the District, contact the Contaminated Land Officer -  telephone: 01992 564036 Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 15:30pm, or email:

A) Land Contamination and Planning Application Forms

Advice on Land Contamination and Planning Application Forms including Full and Outline Planning Applications, Pre-application Advice, and Householder Applications.

- A1) Full and Outline Planning Applications

There are 3 questions relating to land contamination that need to be answered in the Existing Use sections of Full and Outline Planning Application forms:

  1. Land which is known to be contaminated - confirmed by previous investigation and assessment
  2. Land where contamination is suspected for all or part of the site - a past or present use, either on site or offsite, that could have resulted in contamination over all or part of the site: contaminating uses such as landfill sites, factories, petrol stations, coach depots, brick works, sewage works, airfields, farmyards, horticultural nurseries, kennels, stables, dry cleaners, laboratories, filled in ponds, made ground etc. (see pages 15-17 of the Council’s  Contaminated Land Strategy for further information) or the presence of natural contaminants (eg peat beds containing methane that are present with the natural gravels in the Lea and Roding Valleys
  3. A proposed use that would be particularly vulnerable to the presence of contamination - a sensitive use such as domestic housing, schools, nurseries, hospitals etc.

Where the answer to any of these questions is yes, a minimum of a Phase 1 report will need to be submitted with the application.

At sites where it may not be possible to remediate worst case risks (eg developing on a landfill site or retrofitting gas mitigation measures into an existing building), it will be necessary for the applicant to also provide a Phase 2 investigation report and if necessary a detailed remediation proposals report  to demonstrate the feasibility of remediating unacceptable risks and providing any necessary aftercare.

- A2) Pre-application Advice

Where pre-application advice for developments is obtained, printouts from the Council’s Land Contamination database and copies of 1960-2010 aerial photographs can be provided at no additional cost, for inclusion in any Phase 1 report. It may also be possible to screen historic planning records and provide hard copies of relevant records at no additional cost. However, where files are very large, it may be necessary to provide you with a copy of the entire file and to pass on the Council’s costs for copying.

- A3) Householder Applications

Applications for extensions and outbuildings are unlikely to have land contamination conditions attached to planning approvals.

New extensions and outbuildings cover soils and therefore prevent the growing of vegetables, dermal contact with soils, ingestion of soils and inhalation of soil dust pathways to humans and prevent rainwater soaking into the ground and minimise the flushing of contaminants into groundwater and surface watercourses. The local water undertaker is responsible for ensuring that barrier water pipes are used to prevent organic contaminants permeating plastic water pipes and contaminating the water supply (Thames Water or Veolia Water) and Building Control regulate risks to buildings & services from aggressive ground conditions and risks from Ground Gases or Vapours accumulating in extensions and controlled outbuildings. Building Control also regulate risks to humans occupiers.

B) Land Contamination Planning Conditions

When full planning consent or outline consent is granted for the development of a site where potential risks from land contamination have been identified, Planning Conditions will be attached to the approval.

- B1) Ground Gas Condition

Where potential ground gas risks only from offsite sources (eg offsite landfills within 250m or adjoining backfilled ponds) or potential risks from on site natural sources (eg River Valley Peat Beds) have been identified, a ground gas condition may be attached to the consent requiring the developer to either install full ground gas measures within the building or to carry out a ground gas investigation in order to determine what if any measures are required.

- B2) Vulnerable Receptors Condition

Where vulnerable receptors sensitive to the presence of contamination have been identified (domestic housing, schools, nurseries, hospitals, etc) but no potential sources of contamination have been identified, then no further investigation will be required but an unexpected contamination condition may be attached to the consent requiring the risks from any unexpected contamination discovered during development works to be investigated, assessed and where necessary remediated in agreement with the local planning authority.

- B3) Standard Land Contamination Conditions

Where potential land contamination risks from on site or adjoining sources have been identified, then 5 phased standard land contamination conditions may be attached to any approval granted:

  • Pre-commencement Phase 1, Phase 2 & Remediation conditions.
  • A post-commencement Unexpected Contamination condition
  • A post-completion Verification condition

As specified in the standard land contamination conditions, protocols for investigations must be agreed in writing with the Local Authority before the investigations commence, the details reserved by each phased condition must be submitted and approved before moving on to the next condition (a completed application form and the appropriate fee must accompany the report) and all pre-commencement conditions must be approved before any demolition, site clearance or building control works start.


C) Land Contamination Guidance and the new National Planning Policy Framework

The following land contamination guidance relating to development control is contained in the new National Planning Policy Framework published on 27th March 2012:

120. Where a site is affected by contamination or land stability issues, responsibility for securing safe development rests with the developer and/or landowner.

121. Planning Policies and Decisions should also ensure that:

  • The site is suitable for its new use taking account of ground conditions and land instability, including from natural hazards or former activities such as mining, pollution arising from previous uses, and any proposals for mitigation including land remediation or impacts on the natural environment arising from remediation:
  • After remediation, as a minimum, land should not be capable of being determined as contaminated land under Part llA EPA 1990; and
  • Adequate site investigation information, prepared by a competent person, is presented.

Annex 2: Glossary.

  • Competent person (to prepare site investigation information): A person with a recognised relevant qualification, sufficient experience in dealing with the type(s) of pollution or land instability, and membership of a relevant professional organisation. 
  • Site Investigation Information: Includes a risk assessment of land potentially affected by contamination, or ground stability and slope stability reports, as appropriate. All investigations of land potentially affected by contamination should be carried out in accordance with established procedures (such as BS10175:2001 Code of Practice for the Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites). The minimum information that should be provided by an applicant is the report of a desk study and site reconnaissance.

The new NPP Framework replaces Planning Policy Statement 23 (PPS23) Annexe 2. Development on Land Affected by Contamination 2004.

The BS10175:2001 Code of Practice for the Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites, which has been superseded by the BS10175:2011 Code of Practice, contains references to over 200 other relevant publications, including the DEFRA / Environment Agency 2004 publication Model Procedures for the Management of Contaminated Land CLR11

The Department for Communities and Local Government has also published draft Planning Practice Guidance, which includes a Land Remediation Guidance section.


D) Guidance on Employing Land Contamination Consultants

As specified in the National Policy Framework Guidance, we require detailed adequate site investigation information prepared by a Competent Person with a recognised relevant qualification, sufficient experience and membership of a relevant professional organisation. 

Consultants will need to provide evidence that they comply with these criteria.

The Council cannot recommend or pass comment on any land contamination consultancies. The Environment Agency CLR12 publication provides some advice on the procurement of consultants or you could view the company profiles of land contamination consultants in the Environmental Data Services ENDS Directory in order to select an appropriate consultancy for your requirements.


E) Land Contamination Report Requirements and Protocol Agreements

As specified in the National Policy Framework Guidance, detailed adequate site investigation information prepared by a Competent Person with a recognised relevant qualification, sufficient experience and membership of a relevant professional organisation is required.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Planning Conditions require protocols for the investigations to be submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Authority before commencement of the investigations.

It is essential that contaminated land investigations, assessments, remediation works and aftercare arrangements are carried out to an appropriate standard in order to protect receptors such as humans, controlled waters, flora & fauna, landscape vegetation and buildings & services. This will also help to avoid any future liabilities that developers may become responsible for under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The Environment Agency (EA) has been appointed to produce Government backed Technical Guidance and their Model Procedures for the Management of Contaminated Land CLR11 publication provides an overview of the management process and lists the key information sources (available up to the time of publication in September 2004). Many of these reference documents are available for free download from the EA and news on more recent publications and developments can be found by following links from the Agency’s main Contaminated Land webpage.

Under the Planning Regime, this authority consults the EA concerning the adequacy of the investigations and remediation schemes with respect to risks to Controlled Waters. For further information see the EA's Guiding Principles for Land Contamination: GPLC1, GPLC2 and GPLC3.

The Essex Contaminated Land Consortium has also produced a general guidance document, Land Affected by Contamination, 2nd edition 2007, to assist applicants and developers of land potentially affected by contamination (Please note that some of the guidance referred to has now been superseded or withdrawn). Of particular note are the Consortium's requirements with respect to the quality of imported soils contained in Appendix 1.

Section updated 26/05/15

F) Phase 1 Reports

Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment reports must include sufficiently detailed  basic information, desk study source information and Site reconnaissance information to enable all relevant potentially contaminating sources, pathways and receptors to be identified, to enable an accurate detailed preliminary conceptual model to be produced. This conceptual model will then be refined through the Phase 2, Remediation and Verification process.

- F1) Basic Site Information

The following basic site information must be included in the report:

  1. Name, address and location including grid reference
  2. Site ownership and occupation details
  3. Size of site
  4. Broad description of location
  5. Recent OS map of the site and surrounding area
  6. Recent aerial photograph of the site and surrounding area
  7. Existing detailed Site Plan
  8. Proposed detailed Site Plan
  9. Copy of the Planning consent and a copy of the approved site plan showing the curtilage of the site to be assessed
  10. Copies of other relevant planning details and plans (eg proposed site layout plans, landscape vegetation scheme, tree survey, site levels, archaeological survey, asbestos survey, design & access statement).
  11. Plans and details of existing and proposed underground services (where offsite ground gas sources are identified plans showing services running between the 2 sites will also be required)
Section last updated 26/05/15


- F2) Basic Screening Data (potentially contaminating sources and environmental setting)

Historic maps provide only a snapshot in time once every 25 years or so and only certain types of potentially contaminating uses are labelled. Further readily available information on the history of the site, such as planning records, environmental records, local enquiries and local history information will also need to be screened (see DoE CLR3)

The environmental screening reports produced by commercial third party data providers do not include local authority pollution incidents, registered Private Water Supplies, detailed information on landfill sites or information on potentially contaminated sites identified in the area for further assessment under the Part llA EPA 1990 regime.

Reports must include as a minimum the following screening data:

  1. Copies of available historic 1:2500 and 1:10,000 maps reproduced at the original scale, together with appropriate map legends.
  2. Copies of all available historic aerial photographs (upon agreement of the Phase 1 Protocol the Council is able to provide you with copies of historic aerial photographs 1940-2013 for screening and inclusion in the appendices of your report).
  3. A list of all the previous planning applications shown on the i-Plan Planning Explorer (obtainable from the Council’s website by searching under the relevant address or planning file number), together with copies of any relevant plans and documents published on the website.
  4. Copies of relevant plans and documents from paper, electronic and microfiche planning files obtained by either visiting the Civic Offices (by prior appointment) and screening the files in person, and paying for hard copies, or by emailing the Planning Document Request Team to make a 'Document Request' for electronically copying the relevant files and microfiche (no charge is currently made for this service).
  5. Copies of relevant Building Control records (Building Control records can be viewed and copies of relevant records obtained by visiting the Civic Offices (by prior appointment), and or by emailing Planning Document Request Team.
  6. GIS printouts from the Council’s land contamination database, annotated with basic screening data, will be provided upon agreement of the Phase 1 protocol.
  7. Relevant Local Authority information on Local Authority pollution incidents, Local Authority fly tipping, historic Private sewer & cesspool overflows and sewage pollution incidents, Private Water Supplies Local Authority regulated prescribed processes, and any inspection, investigation or determinations carried out under Part IIA EPA sites etc obtainable from the (Environmental) Neighbourhoods Directorate EIR team (a fee may be charged for this service).
  8. Topographical and Geological details and copies of BGS borehole logs for boreholes located in the vicinity of the site.
  9. Previous investigation reports where available

Where additional information is available on former uses of a site, the relevant body must be contacted and the information screened and included in the appendices of the report eg :

  1. Petrol filling stations (The Petroleum Inspectorate at Essex County Council )
  2. Electricity Sub Stations (UK Power Networks)
  3. Railway Land (Transport for London Archives and London Transport Museum)
  4. Military Airfields (Commercially available Airfield Plans also showing Dispersed sites; Hendon Royal Air Force Museum, internet history sites etc)

and where relevant, additional information should be obtained by making local enquiries (with former employees, long term neighbours etc), by researching local history (for example, British History Online) and checking historic trade directories (1838-1937), Available free of charge by contacting Planning Document Request Team the Yellow Pages Archive (1975-present) and commercial data providers eg Thomson Directories (2001-present).

Where offsite ground gas sources are present, plans of underground services located between the 2 sites must also be included, in order to identify potential pathways.

Section last updated 26/05/2016

- F3) Site reconnaissance

Site Reconnaissance should be undertaken after the basic site information and basic screening data on potentially contaminating uses and environmental conditions has been obtained and examined, in order that any relevant issues requiring more detailed inspection during the site walkover can be identified.

Guidance on the required Site Reconnaissance element of the assessment can be found in DoE CLR2 volume 1 and DoE CLR2 volume 2.

Detailed photographs of the site reconnaissance visit must be included in the appendices of the report, together with a location plan indicating the positions and direction that photographs were taken from.

Site Walkover checklists (examples of which are contained in Annex 1 of EA/NHBC R&D66 Annex 1 and in CLR2 volume 1) must be completed and included in the appendices of the Phase 1 report.

- F4) Outline Conceptual Model and Qualitative Risk Assessment

A clear detailed tabular outline conceptual model containing all potential pollutant linkages must be drawn up from the information obtained from the desk study research and site reconnaissance.

Information on potential contaminants from the potentially contaminating sources identified can be obtained from the relevant DoE Industry Profile.

Information on potential contaminants from contaminating uses such as farms, hospitals, stables & kennels and cemeteries for which no DoE Industry Profiles are available can be obtained from EFDC guidance sheets (Horticultural Nursery and Farmyard), the EA’s Pollution Prevention Guidelines (eg PPG25 Hospitals & Healthcare, and PPG24 Stables, Kennels & Catteries) and from other publications such as the EA Assessing the Groundwater Pollution Potential of Cemetery Developments.

Under the planning regime it is also necessary to assess risks from natural contaminants (eg ground gases from Arctic Peat beds associated locally with river gravels) and risks from micro-organisms (eg pathogens associated with sewage or animal use).

The tabular outline conceptual model must contain as a minimum columns listing all

  • Potential Contaminating Uses [eg Made Ground]
  • Potential contaminating sources [eg asbestos cement hardcore, ash & clinker and organic material for a Made Ground use]
  • Potential Contaminants [eg asbestos fibres from asbestos cement hardcore; PAH (USEP 16 priority PAH), metals (eg lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, copper, zinc), metalloids (eg arsenic, boron, selenium) and other parameters (eg sulphate & pH) from ash & clinker and Ground gases (eg methane & carbon dioxide) from organic material]
  • Potential Pathways [eg inhalation; dermal contact; ingestion; permeation of plastic water supply pipes; accumulation and inhalation of gases, accumulation and explosion of gases etc (all individual pathways must be listed from each contaminant or groups of contaminants with similar properties/effects, to each receptor or groups of similar receptors]
  • Receptors [eg humans, flora, fauna, buildings & services, Surface Water, Ground Water, SSSIs, Scheduled Ancient Monuments]

Additional columns should then be added containing additional source/pathway/receptor information that could modify the linkage (eg hard surfacing proposals or ground gas mitigation measures in buildings).

Where a site is zoned into different contaminating source areas or areas with different receptors, separate Outline Conceptual Models should be produced for each zone.

A detailed Qualitative risk assessment (showing probability, consequence and risk classifications) must be undertaken for each potential pollutant linkage in order to catergorise the potential risks and determine the level of investigation required for the individual containments as appropriate under the phase 2.

The outline conceptual model can then be further refined if required, if an exploratory investigation is carried out.

Section updated 26/05/2015

G) Phase 2 Sampling Protocol

Should potentially unacceptable risks be identified in the preliminary risk assessment, following approval of the Phase 1 details, it will be necessary to submit a protocol for the Phase 2 investigation for agreement.

The sampling strategy must be based on the Outline Conceptual Model.

Information on soil sampling requirements can be obtained from the DoE CLR4 Sampling Strategies for Contaminated Land, the EA Secondary Model Procedure for the Development of Appropriate Soil Sampling Strategies for Land Contamination and BS10175:2011.

Any ground gas monitoring will need to be carried out in line with current guidance (e.g. BS 8485:2007, CIRIA C665, CIRIA R131, CIRIA R150 and NHBC Guidance on Methane and Carbon Dioxide 2007), with care taken to place response zones into the appropriate strata and to monitor during worst case conditions (e.g. during a period of rapidly falling atmospheric pressure, during or immediately after heavy rainfall and while ground conditions are both frozen and dry), with full reporting of meteorological conditions and inclusion of Met Office reports. Gas Monitoring Recording lists (eg Appendix C NHBC 2007) will also need to be included in the Appendices of the Phase 2 report, together with information on the calibration of gas monitors. 

Sampling holes must be logged in accordance with the requirements detailed in BS10175:2011 Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites and BS5930:1999+A2 2010 Code of Practice for Site Investigations.

Full details of sampling procedures, collection and storage of samples and signed chain of custody sheets must be provided.

* All analysis must be UKAS Accredited to MCERTS standards where applicable. The screening / identification / quantification of asbestos fibres in soil must also be UKAS Accredited.