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Contaminated land

Contaminated land includes land which has been polluted by chemicals or waste, such as:

  • heavy metals 
  • oils
  • chemical substances
  • asbestos
  • radioactive substances

Such pollution may be impossible to remove completely and may cause a threat to people as well as the wider environment.  

Dealing with contaminated land 

We are responsible for identifying and treating sites defined as being contaminated. 

Our inspection process and approach to dealing with contaminated land is described in our Contaminated land strategy. (PDF)

Planning applications

We check planning applications to see if they are taking place on potentially contaminated land. 

If this is the case, recommendations will be made to the planning application officer advising that approval should be subject to appropriate conditions.

Please seek advice from our planning service before making an application. 

Environmental search requests

We undertake environmental searches and provide information on environmental issues for sites within the Bedford Borough boundary. We will carry out a historical search, give you information received through the planning process and identify any contaminative use surrounding the site.

Please contact Planning to request a search. Please include your name, address, contact number, the full site address and a map of the site. 

A standard search costs £10. An additional fee may be charged for this service depending on the time taken to carry out the search.


Radon gas occurs naturally through uranium in rocks, soil, bricks and concrete. It can affect our health if it builds up in rooms at ground level or below and you are exposed to it for a long time.

The level of radon gas is dependent on the geology of where you live. UK radon can advise on and provide kits to monitor radon in our homes and buildings.

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