Landowners and developers are facing increasing pressure to deliver and develop surplus land to meet the UK’s growing housing demand and to create space for employment. Potential risks associated with contaminated land have been highlighted in a number of significant recent cases, such as the Red¬land-Crest case in 2010. Furthermore, the recent collapse of large UK construction firm Carillion will inevitably lead to questions about how future liabilities, particularly around contamination should be apportioned if a project stakeholder is no longer trading.
Landowners and developers can conduct substantial due diligence on greenfield and brownfield sites, but it can be difficult to ensure that long-tail risks can be identified and managed. There are however, project-specific insurances to mitigate contamination and broader environmental liability risks associated with land development, and contractor default.