Environmental background

Commercial Environmental Reports

Consideration of Environmental issues and Contaminated Land has become a key element of the conveyancing process. Identifying historical industrial activities and past waste disposal practices such as gas works, chemical works, landfill sites, storage works and petrol stations ensures that the homebuyer is informed in-line with Law Society guidance. As well as contamination there can be other environmental risks that can affect the quiet enjoyment of a property.

Many Areas Of Land May Have Been Contaminated By Old Industrial Uses With Substances Such As Arsenic And Lead.

Commercial Environmental Reports

Environmental risk (including Contaminated Land) is included in every Future Climate Info Premium and Standard Environmental report for commercial properties.

Recommended Retail Prices

Recommended retail prices (excluding VAT) for our residential reports are as follows:


Properties < 0.25 Ha

£95.00 + VAT

Properties > 0.25 Ha

£145.00 + VAT

Also in this report


Ground Stability


Properties < 0.25 Ha

£100.00 + VAT

Properties > 0.25 Ha

£160.00 + VAT


All Future Climate Info residential reports are produced and returned electronically within minutes.

Professional Opinion On Environmental And Contaminated Land

Every Future Climate Info report that includes Environmental data contains a Professional Opinion on the impact on property value (if any) relating to Environmental information from Wilbourn & Co. Ltd Chartered Environmental Surveyors.

Why Checking Environmental Risk Is Important

The UK has a long industrial history and many areas of land may have been contaminated by old industrial uses, with substances such as arsenic and lead being left behind in the soil. Over the years, these old industrial sites have been and continue to be redeveloped into housing and offices and unless identified and remediated, any toxic substances may cause harm today.

The previous use of a site can be an issue when people buy and sell houses, particularly because the liability of removing any hazardous waste can lie with the homeowner. There have been a number of cases where properties have had to be ‘cleaned’ retrospectively after having been built on former industrial land. In 2005, residents of around one hundred homes at Seaton Carew in Teesside were issued with a list of precautions to be taken because their gardens were contaminated by arsenic, lead and zinc from an old pit-prop treatment works – the clean-up costs for this site were an estimated £4 million. In 2010 the owners of nineteen properties built on an old quarry in Bath discovered that the land was filled with toxic waste that was contaminating their gardens.

Since 2001 conveyancers have been obtaining an environmental search report as standard practice, to check for statutory Contaminated Land legislation and any historical uses, as the site might be determined as Contaminated Land by the council at some point in the future.

The simple solution to finding out about the risk of Contaminated Land in a conveyancing transaction, taking into account contemporary planning legislation, is to obtain a Future Climate Info Premium, Standard, or Essential environmental report. Along with all the other environmental information needed by conveyancers, our reports identify the likely build date for properties as part of the risk assessment. This means that where properties were built after planning laws were tightened, fewer recommendations for Further Action will be returned, minimising your time spent on dealing with the issues and eliminating the need to make unnecessary further investigations.

Rics logo     Copso logo     SearchCode logo     Ombudsman logo