An evaluation of U.K. contaminated land policy and the law

McGinty, J.C. (1995) An evaluation of U.K. contaminated land policy and the law. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This paper aims to examine the progress of Government policy in the area of contaminated land from 1976. In the introduction comparisons between the Derelict Land Surveys of England and Scotland are made which highlights the more focused approach of the Scottish Survey. Chapter One provides an outline of U.K. Contaminated Land Policy with particular
reference to some of the main points, which includes a review of the Governments "suitable for use" approach and "trigger" guidance values.
In Chapter Two the paper critically examines the Governments apparent lack of interest to really tackle the question of quantifying the extent of contaminated land and also probes a little deeper into the mishandled creation and introduction of Contaminative Land Uses Registers under s. 143 EPA 1990.
Chapters Three reviews the legal framework as relevant to contaminated land both in terms of civil and criminal liability and also examines the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. Personal liability is discussed and who can be held liable with further comment on punishment and company disqualitications.
Chapter Four discusses the evidential difficulties associated with 'proof of causation' and reviews the further implications arising from the Cambridge Water case.
Chapter Five looks at legal liabilities that lenders can lace in foreclosing on their security which may he contaminated and also the ease with which lenders could he treated as "shadow" or "dc facto directors" in the eyes of the law. The Chapter concludes in examining the position of surveyom with regard to their professional indemnity insurance or more particularly the lack of it, and considers methods of approach to surveys of land where contamination may exist in order to minimise or remove the exposure to litigation in negligence.
All references to the Enviornment (Bill) Act and relevant comments are based on the draft Environment Bill (HLIO).

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