Back
We continue to provide our legal services through the COVID-19 lockdown. Please visit our COVID-19 Hub for legal insights, or contact us directly.
Get in Touch Menu

Developers’ contamination nightmare

04 March 2006

Problems associated with land contamination can cast a very long shadow for developers.

Under environmental protection law, there is an ongoing risk that they could be served with a remediation notice many years after finishing a development.

This is exactly what had happened in a case that went to the High Court not so long ago. Land that had previously been used as a landfill site was found to be contaminated 20 years after the developer had sold off the last plot.

The court ruled that a developer could be made liable if he knew about the original substance causing the contamination.

In this particular case, not surprisingly so long after the event, the local authority and the developer had real problems producing evidence to show whether the developer had had the relevant knowledge at the relevant time or not.

One of our commercial property solicitor comments: “This case was a good reminder of the need to keep proper documentary records, especially where there is a greater risk of potential contamination.”

As always, if you need commercial and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

  Contact us

Contact
Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
Partner
View profile
Alasdair Garbutt
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

An e-sign of the times?

Commercial property

Times are changing but there’s still a place for pen and ink when it comes to legal property documents, explains paralegal Yasmin Lewis. In the commercial property sector there is…

Yasmin Lewis LLB (Hons)
Paralegal

Trustees' duties & charity land: 6 frequently-asked questions

Commercial property

Getting the best deal for your charity, while complying with charity law, is part and parcel of being a trustee; but what are the legal requirements when it comes to…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Solicitor

Buying a business or property in the hospitality & leisure sector?

Commercial property

Whether you’re a first-time business buyer entering into the leisure sector, or you’re an experienced hotelier embarking on your next acquisition, the importance of doing your legal ‘homework’ shouldn’t be…

Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
Partner
Contact us