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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-manufactured-topsoil-rps-190/use-of-manufactured-topsoil-rps-190
You usually need a permit if you want to use manufactured topsoil because it is made from waste.
However, if you follow the conditions of this regulatory position statement (RPS), you do not need to apply for an environmental permit to use up to 1,000 tonnes of manufactured topsoil.
If you cannot comply with the conditions in this RPS but you want to use manufactured topsoil, you need to apply for an environmental permit.
Conditions you must comply with
To meet the conditions of this RPS, you must make sure:
- you keep a record of the amount of manufactured topsoil you receive
- you comply with the waste duty of care when storing, transferring and transporting manufactured topsoil
- the manufactured topsoil is used to establish a vegetative layer
- the manufactured topsoil is used as a soil substitute for landscaping purposes
- the place where the soil is used is not currently (or intended to be) used for agriculture
- the manufactured topsoil is produced in accordance with BS 3882:2015 at a suitably permitted site under SR2010 No11 or SR2010 No12 permit, or a suitable bespoke permit
the manufactured topsoil has been produced from non-wastes (for example PAS 100 quality protocol compliant compost) or the following wastes only:
- 01 01 02 - chalk only (clean, naturally occurring stone materials)
- 01 04 08 - waste chalk other than those mentioned in 01 04 07 (clean, naturally occurring stone materials)
- 01 04 09 - waste sand and clays (clean, naturally occurring soil and mineral materials)
- 02 01 06 - horse manure only
- 02 01 99 - spent mushroom compost from the growing of mushrooms only
- 02 03 99 - soil from cleaning and washing fruit and vegetables only
- 02 04 01 - soil from cleaning and washing beet
- 17 05 04 - soil and stones including chalk from greenfield sites (clean, naturally occurring topsoil and subsoil)
- 20 02 02 - soil and stones (clean, naturally occurring topsoil and subsoil)
If you use more topsoil than is necessary, or the topsoil is not used to establish a vegetative layer, this is classed as waste disposal and this RPS will not apply.
See more guidance on:
The manufactured topsoil must not be:
- used to treat agricultural land or land intended for agricultural use
- supplied for commercial horticultural or home garden use
- used at depths greater than 300mm
- stored or used in quantities over 1,000 tonnes in any 3 year period
- stored in any one place for more than 12 months before use
You must not:
- cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals
- cause a nuisance through noise or odours
- adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest
An RPS means that the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action against you provided:
- your activity meets the description set out in this RPS
- you comply with the conditions set out in this RPS
- your activity does not (and is not likely to) cause environmental pollution or harm human health
When to check back
This RPS will be reviewed by April 2018. You’ll need to check back then to see if it still applies.
Contact the Environment Agency
National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
Telephone 03708 506 506
Telephone from outside the UK (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm GMT) +44 (0) 114 282 5312
Minicom (for the hard of hearing) 03702 422 549
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm