Land contamination—Law Society practice note on contaminated land

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Land contamination—Law Society practice note on contaminated land
  • What does the practice note cover?
  • Status of the practice note
  • Conveyancing transactions—acting for the buyer, tenant or lender
  • Conveyancing transactions—acting for the seller or landlord
  • Advising on remediation notices
  • Advising on unresolved contamination issues
  • Advising on leases
  • Advising on mortgages
  • Advising on share sales and asset purchases
  • More...

Land contamination—Law Society practice note on contaminated land

On 13 April 2016, the Law Society issued an updated practice note on contaminated land. Prior to this, the practice note dated 18 December 2014, replaced the Law Society's former green card warning on contaminated land. The current edition has only made very minor changes to the December 2014 edition. It now includes a reference to Defra's guidance on risk management for landowners and developers. For more information on the guidance, see Practice Note: Contaminated land—risk assessment.

What does the practice note cover?

The practice note sets out the Law Society's view of good practice in relation to contaminated land for solicitors advising on property transactions. It states that solicitors should consider whether contamination is an issue in all conveyancing transactions, and notes that land contamination may be a significant issue in a small number of transactions. Land is only treated as 'contaminated land' for legal purposes if it poses an unacceptable level of risk. See Practice Note: Contaminated land—definition of contaminated land.

The practice note advises solicitors to be aware that environmental liabilities may arise in relation to land contamination and to consider what enquiries and specialist assistance their clients may require.

The practice note outlines the contaminated land regime set out in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), the regulations and the statutory guidance made

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