SEPP55 Preliminary Site Investigation

SEPP55 Preliminary Site Investigations and Detailed Site Investigation for Contamination – you never know what you may find – or be purchasing.

When undertaking Preliminary Site Investigations (PSI) and Detailed Site Investigations (DSI) in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, (or any older industrial area) you never know exactly what you may find when you attend a site.  A recent Detailed Site Investigation in the Ryde Local Government Area (Rydalmere) in Sydney detected large quantities of Asbestos sheeting buried under the concrete slab in an industrial building of 1960’s vintage.  It appeared that the Asbestos was laid out before the slab was laid as Asbestos was found directly below the slab as shown in the photo below. Asbestos is commonly found when understanding assessments and buried asbestos is a real concern when purchasing a property. Purchase of older industrial or former industrial properties or farms can be a particular risk and it is extremely important purchasers of such properties undertake a high level of Due Diligence. We have found high levels of buried Asbestos on a farm for which there were no previous records or evidence which resulted in the new owner incurring an expensive clean-up of the site as part of the redevelopment of the site. As clean-up costs can very quickly run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, (the clean-up described above came to nearly a million dollars), it is very important not to purchase a property which is a liability.  For at least the last 20 years in North America banks have not provided loans to customers purchasing properties such as these without a contamination report which indicates that the property is unlikely to have contamination. Australian banks in the last few years have been starting to request these assessments be undertaken for properties which are high risk such as former petrol stations and dry cleaners. It is best to undertake your own enquiries and assessments even if you are a cash purchaser or the lender is not requesting a contamination report.

Why not give us a call when purchasing a property to assist you with following a sound Due Diligence process in order to fully consider the risks of potential contamination.

Visible Asbestos Pieces found under a concrete slab of a 1960’s industrial building in Rydalmere, Sydney NSW