Skip the NI Direct Bar
Department of the Environment logo
Northern Ireland Environment Agency logo
Home > NIEA > About NIEA > Better Regulation > NIEA Soil Guidance

NIEA Soil Guidance

Last updated: 9 December 2010

Picture of the front cover of the 'Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Soil in Construction and Development' document. Click to ope (.PDF 658Kb). Opens in a new window.As of 9 December 2010, NIEA will require that topsoil guidance applicants will have to submit maps of soil source location and destinations as per section 6 (page 7) of the guidance.

We have produced Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Soil in Construction and Development (.PDF 658Kb)Opens in New window. You can also now submit a declaration form online at our Apply Online page.

We recognise that modern, risk based regulation is a necessary part of delivering environmental outcomes without undermining economic recovery. This regulatory position statement provides guidance to the construction sector on how to reuse clean, greenfield soils outside of the waste management controls and therefore without the associated cost and burden of complying with waste management legislation.

We have worked closely with the Construction Employers Federation and other Government and industry stakeholders to develop a regulatory position statement promoting the sustainable reuse of greenfield soils arising from construction and development sites.

Excess soils from development sites are generally regarded as a waste and their end use must be regulated under a waste management license or an exemption from waste licensing. The Duty of Care controls also apply to the handling and transfer of the soils.

The guidance allows movement outside of the regulatory controls where it can be demonstrated that excess greenfield soil is uncontaminated and that it can be put to agreed specific re-use.

A one-page declaration of compliance must be submitted to us before any soil is moved, however currently there is no fee and the soil can be moved as soon as a fully completed declaration form is submitted. You can apply online using our online application facility.

It is the responsibility of the users of the guidance to ensure that they comply with the guidance in full. We will not issue a response to the declaration forms however we will conduct regular ad-hoc inspections to monitor how the guidance is being used.

For further information or queries on this guidance please contact greenfieldsoil@doeni.gov.uk.