Rhondda Cynon Taf’s former industrial prosperity has left a legacy of over 3500 potentially contaminated sites. Whilst many of these are lying harmlessly dormant, many are derelict and detract from the appearance of the neighbourhood. Some may even be harmful to health or may be polluting our water resources. However, these “brown field” sites are potentially valuable and therefore ripe for redevelopment. If they were cleaned up and brought back into beneficial use they could provide opportunities for community regeneration.
This may be achieved through the development control process as and when planning applications are made. Conditions may be added to planning approval requiring these sites to be investigated and made safe for their future use prior to redevelopment.
The Council’s Public Health & Protection department work closely with the Council’s planners and private developers to secure voluntary remediation of these sites in this way.
If voluntary remediation is not possible the Council’s Public Health & Protection department has powers to require the polluters to pay for remediation of “contaminated land”, which is causing significant harm, where:
there are harmful substances in, on or under the land or
water pollution is being caused by substances at the site
the land contains a source of pollution and
someone (or something) could be affected by the pollutant and
there is a pathway by which the pollution can get to the 'receptor'
Of the 3500 Brownfield sites identified in Rhondda Cynon Taf only a handful are likely to meet the legal definition of “contaminated land” and these are recorded as soon as they are determined on the Council’s Public Register.
The Council has published its “Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy” which details how we have identified potentially contaminated sites, how we prioritise their inspection and what happens next.
In some cases (detailed in the Contaminated land Inspection Strategy) the Environment Agency may take over the regulation of a site from the Council, once it has been declared as 'contaminated land'.
Re-use of brown field sites
When you buy land in Rhondda Cynon Taf, you are advised to ask the Council’s Land Charges department to undertake a Local Land Search . This will tell you if the site has been declared 'contaminated land'. There will be a charge for this service.
Telephone: 01443 442100