The period starting in 1950 saw a change in the way the environment is viewed,this accelerating in the 21st Century as the changing climate became an important topic. One of the biggest impacts is that developers now must take a lot more care when purchasing land,as any contamination could cause them a lot of problems and money.
With this change came laws and regulations and environmental law slowly developed into a separate area,one that overlapped that of construction law when carrying out due diligence on land purchases for new residential projects.
In fact more and more environmental problems came to the fore in the 1980’s than was the case before,most dealing with prior pollution.
At the start people didn’t know quite how to handle this problem,but over time legal practices evolved and were able to include the necessary research into environmental issues,helping people identify risks associated with any purchase. Basically,purchasers need to know as much as they can at the start,so they can plan and deal with any potential issues.
This is why carrying out due diligence is so very important,especially as now,when you are building something,you are required to do an environmental review. The purpose of this process for a buyer of land is to obtain as much information as possible. When things are done the right way,it helps to see if contamination is there,find the risks and determine the effect they could have on the cost and timing of the development plan.
In some instances there could be parts of the land that you simply can’t build on, but you won’t find out until you start digging. It could be seen to be a bit of a treasure hunt as “You don’t know what you’re going to run into until you get into the ground.”
The good news is that if some problems are found it does not necessarily not be the end of the project as it as it then gives developers and lawyers opportunities to be creative. It’s all a part of evaluating the challenges and opposition to a building project.
Plus,now there is the Brownfield Cleanup Program,which provides liability protection,financial assistance and tax payments that are available when you are cleaning up a site and redeveloping it.
Whenever you are purchasing land,there’s always the concern of what happened on that land historically,and due diligence in reality,is to make sure the purchaser understands what happened in the past. Basically,due diligence can be said to be down to asking the right questions at the outset of the purchasing journey,thus protecting the purchaser against liability. Once the risks are known,clients can decide if a project is feasible and can be financed and completed on budget.
See this very interesting post for more information