Local Authorities Register
Local authorities should maintain a Register, available for inspection by the public, containing details of sites designated as contaminated land together with any notices served and details of any designated land that has been cleaned up. You may find that these registers contain relatively little information since the level of designations of contaminated land has not been that high in many local authorities. If you buy a house, then during the course of the conveyancing work the searches conducted by your solicitor will check against this registered information.
Because the checks are only against the registered information they will only tell you if the land that you are buying has ever been found to be contaminated. The search will not check if the land has been used at some earlier stage of its history for industrial use. It is possible to check this, however, by requesting a specific commercial search and it is also possible to insure against this risk.