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Contaminated land and pollution

Middlesbrough's history as a centre for iron, steel and chemicals has left a legacy of old industrial sites in the town. Some may still bear traces of pollution from their previous uses. The vast majority of these sites are located in the north of the town, close to the River Tees.

We inspect land for contamination, and try to ensure that old industrial land is regenerated. You can find out more in our contaminated land strategy.

We also have a detailed historic land use register. This is a collection of old maps and documents showing what land in Middlesbrough has been used for in the past. For more information, please call 01642 726001.

In relation to land and properties in Middlesbrough we are often asked if any of the following apply (including any relating to land adjacent to, or adjoining, the property which has been identified as contaminated land because it is in such a condition that harm or pollution of controlled waters might be caused on the property):

a) a contaminated land notice
b) in relation to a register maintained under section 78R of the Environmental Protection Act 1990:
(i) a decision to make an entry
(ii) an entry
c) consultation with the owner or occupier of the property conducted under section 78G(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 before the service of a remediation notice

We'll publish details of any of the above here. If no details are published, it means there are no notices, decisions, entries, or consultations.

However this does not imply that the property or any adjoining or adjacent land is free from contamination, or from the risk of it, or that steps have been taken by another local authority in whose area adjacent or adjoining land is situated.

For land which is not within Middlesbrough, please contact the relevant council. You can find the local council for that area by using the postcode of the land.

The law on contaminated land

We have a duty to inspect all land within our area to see if it's contaminated. We look to see whether, as a result of substances in, on, or under the land, there is a 'significant possibility of significant harm' (SPOSH). We have legal powers to clean up contaminated land.

Full details of what we do and how we do it are available in our contaminated land strategy.

Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, which provided a legal definition of contaminated land, was revised under the Contaminated Land (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012. Read more about the amendment to contaminated land guidance.

Making enquiries

We hold a lot of information about past land use and land contamination. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements. There may be an administration charge for providing some information, which covers the time spent researching enquiries.

To make an enquiry, please contact:

Environmental Protection Team
Phone: 01642 726001
Email: EHTS@middlesbrough.gov.uk