EPS Launch Land Contamination Guide for Developers

October 04, 2019

Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS) recently launched the following guidance document:

Environmental Protection Scotland, August 2019, Land contamination and development: Guidance for assessing and addressing land contamination issues to meet the requirements of Contaminated Land regulators in Scotland, version 2.12.

The guide is intended to provide developers, planning agents and consultants with advice on what information is required regarding land contamination to allow the local authority to discharge its statutory responsibility relating to planning applications and building warrants.

The guidance states that reports submitted under the planning process must be completed by competent persons. RSK’s geosciences team of ‘competent persons’ includes 13 suitably qualified persons (the largest number in any organisation), 11 Society of Brownfield Risk Assessment (SoBRA) risk assessors and more than 50 chartered professionals. Technical reporting guidance is provided along with suggested contents, structure and accompanying plans and/or illustrations for each of the following elements of the UK land contamination risk assessment and management framework:

  • preliminary investigation and risk assessment (desktop study)
  • exploratory site investigation and risk assessment
  • the remediation scheme
  • remediation completion and verification reporting.

The guide is endorsed by local authorities across Scotland, particularly those who have not developed their own contaminated land supplementary planning guidance.

RSK provided input into the initial consultation process in 2017. Also, RSK Principal Geoenvironmental Scientist, Helen McMillan, sits on the EPS Land Quality Expert Advisory Group and provided further constructive comments on the final draft document before its official publication. This has helped ensure the guide is risk-based, driven by site-specific requirements, rather than adopting a prescriptive approach.

RSK is well placed to assist you in designing suitable site investigations and undertaking appropriate assessments to meet local authorities requirements, to smoothly take you through the planning process without the need for protracted discussion. The RSK geosciences team would be pleased to help with advice on the EPS guide or to provide competent persons to complete the planning process reports.

For further information, please contact the RSK Glasgow geosciences team on 0141 418 0471 and ask to speak to Helen McMillan or Joanna Farndon.