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Worried about potential soil contamination

Hi everyone,

our house in east London is built on the site of a metalworks factory which I believe existed on the site for most of the 20th century, before becoming derelict in perhaps the 1970s and eventually demolished in the late 1990s. For this reason I'm a bit concerned that the soil in our garden might be contaminated by metal and other industrial deposits, and therefore not safe to use for growing food, particuarly planting fruit trees.

Would anyone have any suggestions about whether it's possible (and not too costly) to check the soil for possible contamination? And also how possible it is to fix that problem if it does exist?

Many thanks,

Stuart

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,569

    Your house survey should mention any soil comtamination I think?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,201

    It might be worth seeing if you could have a look at the original planning permission for the houses. There may have been some stipulations concerning decontamination. 

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 6,395

    It may be that there is an insurance policy in place to cover any contamination.  I would speak to the solicitor that carried out the purchase of the property to check.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 37,032

    I doubt surveyors would check garden soil would they? Not something I'm aware of.

    Think Yvie's right - if there's any possible issues, the solicitor would, or should, be aware of it and there should be insurance built in.

    I'd also think B3's right - but then again, I don't trust developers to do the right thing regarding people's health and welfare image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,569

    Our survey included a report on possible soil contamination because of the history of our house (in a semi industrial area). But the local authority should have information about what went on there in the past and how it was "cleaned up" for domestic use.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 37,032

    Aaah - understandable then pansyface image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,569
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,507

    the people we bought from had to supply " indemnity insurance" for us as an OS map from 1896 showed a quarry on our land. 

    Nowhere to be seen now I have to say.

    Devon.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,507

    our solicitor suggested it might have been filled with anthrax infected cattle and covered over.

    Nice image

    Devon.
  • Thank you all for your very helpful replies. I've had a check and the searches that our conveyancer did of local registers, etc. didn't show up anything specific in terms of the old factory site. I think I will doublecheck with the local council about any assessments or clean-up activities that were carried out. Thanks again!

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