Environmental searches

We hold a range of environmental information from several sources.

This includes historical maps, borehole records, previous investigative reports and remedial works.

This is available to the public through the low-cost environmental search service. Other commercial search agencies do not always have access to such local information. Their searches may not reflect the current condition or legal status of the land.

Our environmental health section receives requests for environmental searches:

  • for information about contamination and environmental issues for a property sale.
  • by consultants or companies doing an environmental assessment of a site.

We strongly recommend an environmental search is done before the purchase, lease or development of any land or property in Darlington.

There are two standard environmental searches:

Environmental search 1

This type of search is for solicitors or people who are interested in the legal and contamination status of a particular site or property. Information about a property or site includes:

  • Past industrial use – including a series of past historical maps
  • Summary of any borehole logs and site investigations, including gas monitoring results
  • Summary of any remedial work, where available
  • Unlicensed, pre-licensed, closed or active landfill sites within a 250 metre radius
  • Status of the site under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and to confirm whether there is an entry on the Public Register.

In addition to the standard environmental search, photocopies of any reports can be bought for a fee.

Environmental search 2

This type of search is for environmental consultants who are interested in doing a preliminary environmental assessment of a site. It covers the site and surrounding land within a 250 metre radius. Information includes:

  • Past industrial use – including a series of past historical maps
  • A list of geo-environmental reports: borehole logs, site investigations, remediation and validation reports, including gas monitoring results
  • Status of the site under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and to confirm whether there is an entry on the Public Register.
  • Unlicensed, pre-licensed, closed or active landfill sites
  • Tank register
  • Part A and Part B Installations
  • Pollution incidents
  • Radon
  • Groundwater
  • Source protection zones
  • Licensed abstractions
  • Surface water
  • Consent for discharge

In addition to the standard Environmental Search, photocopies of any reports can bought for a fee.

Requesting an environmental search

To ask for an environmental search complete our online environmental search form [opens new window] or fill out and send our Environmental Search request form [word document] by post or email. Please also include a plan showing clearly the boundary of the site in question and your contact details. 

We will respond within 20 working days. We are usually able to respond within 10 working days.

We are limited to the records available. While every effort is made to make sure the information is correct, this cannot be guaranteed. Darlington Borough Council accepts no responsibility for its accuracy or otherwise.

Requesting an environmental search has been defined as a “business as usual” request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The information exempt under Section 21 of the Act.

If you would like more information on the council’s policies and procedures on your information rights, please visit the Freedom of Information and Environmental Information request pages.

Fees

There are fees for environmental searches. 

The fee for each of the two standard searches is £65 per site. This is based on the contaminated land officer’s average time to respond to a standard request. The fee covers a maximum site area of 10,000m2 and will include the historical maps. 

Methods of payment

By phone:

This is the preferred method of payment. Call 01325 406432 with a credit or debit card. 

By post:

Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Darlington Borough Council.
Please write Environmental Searches – 16014 9815 on the reverse of the cheque. Include the name of the site.
Send cheques to Environmental Searches, Environmental Health, Town Hall, Darlington, DL1 5QT.

Payment in person:


Visit customer services - Town Hall, Feethams, Darlington, Co. Durham, DL1 5QT
Opening hours: Monday - Wednesday 8.30-16.45; Thursday 9.30-16.45; Friday 8.30-16.15

The person making the payment should say they are making an Environmental Searches payment for [name of the site] and quote cost code: 16014 9815.

Additional Information

An extra fee will be made if the site is larger than 10,000m sq or a lot of photocopying is needed. The fee will be based on the number of hours or part hours this work takes to complete.

If you have any questions email [email protected]