A recent Environment Audit Committee report found that local councils have insufficient funding for Part 2A contaminated land remediation.
It feels there should be dedicated funding to remediate this type of land and says that Defra should go back over its decision to cut capital grant funding in 2013. It is of the opinion that local councils would be less likely to clean up these sites without funding from central Government.
In a report of June last year, the EAC estimated that 300,000ha of UK soil is affected by toxic elements, such as cadmium, arsenic, and lead.
“Cash-strapped local councils need funding to deal with contaminated land that could pose a risk to public health,” said EAC member Mary Creagh MP, responding to Whitehall’s rejection of the committee’s proposals. Adding, “Defra’s decision to abolish capital grant funding for contaminated land has all but halted councils’ ability to investigate and clean-up contaminated sites…It is disappointing to see the Government has ignored our recommendation to reinstate this…Contaminated sites in areas with high land values will be cleaned up by developers, but sites in areas such as Middlesborough, Newcastle, Liverpool, Cornwall and York risk not being investigated or cleaned up, blighting homes and ruining lives,..”