Merton Council

Home Home Merton Adult Education Home Jobs in children's social care Home Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone Home Safeguarding Children Board Home Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
Try our beta site
My Merton - the latest news and information from your council

Contaminated land

Contaminated land is land that has been polluted and is unfit for safe development and usage, unless the soil is treated or removed.

Contaminated land contains substances that may pose a risk of significant harm to human health or to the wider environment, including water resources and local ecosystems.

Contamination in land largely arises as a result of industrial activities or past waste disposal practices.

Although in more recent times there has been a decline in the industrial uses of land in Merton, from about the 18th century onwards there was a considerable amount of industry operating within the borough.

Many of these industries developed on land adjoining the River Wandle, using the river water for power and / or transport. There have also been industrial operators in other parts of the borough.

There has been a wide variety of potentially polluting industrial processes active in Merton, ranging from gas works, large-scale oil storage depots and metal foundries to mills, engineering works and petrol stations.

How does the council deal with contaminated land?

The council uses two methods to deal with the legacy of contaminated land within the borough.

The first is the planning and development control process. This applies when a site has a redevelopment proposal, requiring planning approval.

If there is a possibility the site may be contaminated, a condition can be placed on a planning approval, requiring a site investigation and the implementation of a satisfactory scheme of remedial works.

More information can be found in the following document:


The second method is a risk based assessment. This depends on the current use of land and whether there are concerns that its historical use may present a significant risk of significant harm to current users of the land.

This chargeable assessment is undertaken by Environmental Health:

  • £166 per enquiry to research and answer enquiries
  • Additional £166 per hour where research cannot be undertaken in one hour

Please note there is a surcharge of 1.56% if you pay by credit card.

If you wish to report land that you suspect is or has been contaminated, please contact us using the details below.

More information can be found in Merton’s Contaminated Land strategy

Contact us

Environmental Health
Environment and Regeneration
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3025
email: ehealth@merton.gov.uk

Development Control
Environment and Regeneration
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3984
email.planning@merton.gov.uk

This page was last updated on Tuesday 23 December 2014

Top of page