Contaminated land report requirements excessive

A condition imposed on a planning permission for a dwelling in east Sussex which required a detailed contaminated land report was varied to reduce its scope, a full award of costs also being made in favour of the appellant.

The condition required the submission of a detailed assessment of the scale and nature of any contamination together with a remediation scheme overseen by a suitably qualified person to be fully implemented prior to construction of the dwelling. However, an environmental health officer had recommended a simpler condition which required the steps to be taken if contamination was found during construction.

An inspector decided that the condition as imposed was far more detailed and in his opinion unreasonable and unnecessary. The council accepted that it had been imposed in error and the appellant would have accepted a letter confirming that no enforcement action would be taken if development began without complying with its terms. It was not clear to him that the council explored ways of remedying the problem possibly by using section 97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to modify the permission.

At the very least a letter would have assuaged the appellant’s concerns about enforcement action and ultimately this would have avoided an unnecessary appeal. A full award of costs in favour of the appellant was made.

Inspector Stephen Papworth; Written representations

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