Culpability in sustainability: Revisiting Powys County Council v Price

The amount of contaminated land in the UK is rising. That the land must be decontaminated is not debatable; however, the liability for cleaning it remains, in some cases, up for debate.

It would be logical to assume that the polluters would bear the burden of decontaminating the affected sites. But what if the polluter no longer exists? Farmers in Powys, Wales, are all too familiar with this concept. In Powys County Council v Price [2017] EWCA Civ 1133; [2017] EGLR 39 – a case that rocked the property industry’s understanding of culpability in terms of