CL:AIRE and Its Role in Brownfield Sites

Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments, or CL:AIRE, as it is most commonly known in environmental circles, plays a major role in the regeneration of brownfield sites in the UK, thereby protecting greenbelt land for the future.


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A not-for-profit organisation set up in 1999, its purpose is to “stimulate the regeneration of contaminated land in the UK by raising awareness of, and confidence in, practical and sustainable remediation technologies”.

Primarily concerned with land remediation, CL:AIRE works with third parties to ensure that land and/or water on brownfield sites will be safe for use.

Together with leading professionals and academics, they provide third-party appraisals of remediation technology and effective methods for monitoring and investigating brownfield sites.

Their self-professed aim is to make land and water fit for purpose, whether that is for social or for economic use.

Since the year 2000, 250 new sites per year have been classified as contaminated.

In total, there are circa 300,000 hectares of land under this classification in England and Wales alone.


As part of its aim to facilitate collaborative working towards sustainable regeneration of brownfield sites, CL:AIRE is also involved with SUBR:IM, a consortium of researchers from the fields of science and engineering, social sciences, real estate, economics and planning who work together to provide an integrated approach to problems of brownfield site regeneration. It was CL:AIRE’s role to disseminate information about SUBR:IM’s projects and activities and to promote a collaborative, inclusive approach across all sectors.

The organisation also disseminates information, provides support to public and private sector bodies, promoting business opportunities for its partners in the wider environmental landscape.

CL:AIRE also facilitates links between parties with a problem and those who can provide a solution to the problem, such as

And this vital organisation works hard to provide training and skills development courses in line with industry demands and requirements.

These courses ensure that those employed in brownfield development and regeneration are aware of policy and legislation affecting the sector.

And CL:AIRE runs a membership site to encourage discussion and sharing of information across the sectors to prevent duplication of effort in finding solutions to common problems.

By working together on ways to regenerate land for use in housing, commerce and environmental projects, vital greenbelt land is being protected.

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