Environment legislation is getting progressively more onerous and should always be considered by organisations and individuals looking to invest in commercial property.
The guiding principle behind statutory requirements for remediation of contamination is that the polluter should pay. If however, the polluter no longer exists, the Environment Agency's next port of call could be the landowner or occupier at the time of the enforcement action.
It is therefore vital that anyone looking to purchase property should do an appropriate environmental assessment to minimise the risk that the land might be contaminated. It is possible for parties to agree between themselves how any future claim against them by a statutory authority will be paid for. We regularly advise sellers in particular how this can best be done.