Phase 1 Desk Study

A Phase 1 Desk Study is a preliminary risk assessment report for a development site, often required for planning application approval.

Ideally, a Desk Study should also be accompanied by a walk over a survey conducted by an experienced practitioner. By compiling available information in relation to a site’s environmental, geological, hydrogeological, hydrological and mining setting a cost-effective and focussed site investigation will be developed. A Phase 1 Desk Study should always precede any ground investigation.

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Phase 1 Desk Study Report

FIXED PRICE – Phase 1 Desk Study Geotechnical Report

Phase 1 GeoEnvironmental Desk study — With a site walkover survey — £800 +VAT

We offer a fixed price of £800 + VAT for a Comprehensive Desk Study. This includes a site walkover survey of a site that is less than 5 hectares in size.

Phase I GeoEnvironmental Desk study — Without a site walkover survey  — £550 +VAT

A Basic Phase 1 Desk Study report without a site walkover survey would be provided for a fixed price of £550 +VAT

Earth Environmental & Geotechnical provide a wide range of Desk Study services, click here to contact us for further information.

How long does it take to complete a Phase 1 Desk Study?

We will provide a Comprehensive Phase 1 GeoEnvironmental Desk study, including a site walkover survey report within 6 working days of receipt of payment. However, the completion time is subject to gaining access to the site to conduct the walkover survey.

In most cases, we try to consult with the relevant local authority’s Contaminated Land or Environmental Unit.  However, sometimes a response cannot be obtained within a short timeframe. Therefore we may send the detail of this consultation separate from the report.

A Basic Report can usually be issued within 1 working day of receipt of payment.

What is Included in a Phase 1 Desk Study?

We provide an  INTERPRETATIVE report that looks at the specific objectives of the client’s proposal and combines that information with the specifics of the proposed development site.

Why is an INTERPRETIVE report important?

The Phase 1 Desk Study interpretive report is the vital link that goes beyond the basic facts and data. Earth Environmental interprets all the information and provides a concise clear report with additional detail to assist in the decision making process. We interpret all the information collected, so you understand what are the risks and hazards for your development on your proposed site. In addition, we also provide advice on remedial options.

For example, firstly we review the details of the development proposal. Secondly, we appraise the risk and hazards posed by environmental and geotechnical conditions of the proposed development site. Thirdly, and most importantly, we combine all the information to produce the interpretive report.

A site walkover survey

A site walkover survey will be conducted as part of each report. We consider this to be a fundamental part of the delivery of a successful project.  During the walkover survey, we will assess areas identified within the desk study as potential development issues, environmental and cost liabilities. We also highlight potential remedial options or management considerations.

Following the desk study and walkover survey, a Site Conceptual Site Model can be developed. This will allow for environmental and geotechnical hazards to be individually assessed.  Any potential pollutant linkages can then be prioritised for any future Phase II Site Investigation.

Information and Actions Required from You

  • A plan showing the site boundary or area of interest. Our website has a file uploading facility that could be used to facilitate the sending of a PDF file (must be less than 50mB).
  • Tell us the reason for the survey, is it a pre-acquisition assessment etc.
  • Do you own the site?
  • Are there any underground or above ground fuel storage tanks?
  • Are you planning to build on site, if so what? Can you send us a development layout plan?
  • Who do we contact for access as part of walkover survey?
  • Are there any obvious health and safety hazards on site.
  • Can you tell us anything about the current site use and former land uses?
  • Any former pollution incidents that we should be aware of?
  • Is there a pre-existing site investigation study on the site?
  • Are there any services. If so can you send us the detail? If disconnected are they terminated at site boundary?

What is a phase 1 desk study report?

A Phase 1 Desk Study is a preliminary risk assessment of a development site often, required for planning permission. The Phase 1 Desk Study collates background information about site-specific historical, geological and environmental characteristics that will need to be considered during planning, design and construction of a development.

A Phase 1 Desk Study is an interpretive report that details the likely presence of any contamination within the subsurface, and the potential risks that this may present to future site users, developments, and the immediate environment.
The Phase 1 Desk Study collates information from a wide range of sources relating to the site setting and its previous historical uses. A Phase 1 Desk Study Report should always precede any ground investigation. Ideally, it should also be accompanied by a walk over survey conducted by an experienced practitioner. to provide greater certainty in the report findings.

Why do I need a Phase 1 Desk study Report?

If you are planning on developing a site you will generally need a Phase 1 Desk Study Report as part of your Planning application set out by the Local Authority Planning Department.

Or you may be planning on purchasing a property or site for development, as part of the Property Transactions (Due Diligence) it is prudent to complete a Phase 1 Desk Study Report.

What is included in a Phase 1 Desk Study Report?

A Phase 1 Desk Study Report collates information from a variety of sources.

At Earth Environmental & Geotechnical this may include.

  • Ordnance Survey, Town Plans, and Aerial Photographs to allow us to assess existing and former land uses
  • Flood risk potential by reference to Environment Agency mapping and British Geological Survey records
  • Solid and drift geology by reference to British Geological Survey mapping and borehole index
  • Groundwater vulnerability from Environment Agency classification of aquifer status
  • Earthquake records within 1km of the site by reference to British Geological Survey records
  • Consultation with local authority Environmental Unit
  • Assessment of potential subsidence issues from an examination of geological maps, boreholes index, and walkover survey
  • Assessment of slope stability for relevant areas during the walkover survey
  • Brine Subsidence search for sites within relevant areas
  • Active and historical surface and underground workings based on published information and internal records
  • Coal Authority Mining Report if the site is within the Mining District
  • Active and closed landfill search within 500m of the site boundary based upon local authority and Environment Agency records
  • Radon gas potential with reference to Heath Protection Agency records
  • Preliminary Ecological Assessment based upon walkover survey and references to English Nature database
  • Petroleum Licencing Officer record search for sites with evidence of petroleum storage
  • Planning history of the site by examination of local authority portal
  • Preliminary Invasive Plant survey based on walkover survey
  • Preliminary Archaeological Assessment based on reference to National Monument Records

What do we not provide?

A service search will not be provided unless requested.

Our reports are provided by in PDF format via email.

Example of a Phase 1 Desk Study

Phase 1 Desk Study Report Example

What’s the difference between Phase 1 Desk Study Report and a Phase 2?

A Phase 2 assessment consists of an Intrusive Site investigation with quantitative risk assessment. Depending on what is highlighted in this assessment, a subsequent remediation strategy and verification report may then be required.
A Phase 2 assessment is only needed if it is identified in the initial Land Contamination Assessment or if it is part of the conditions the Local Planning Authority have attached to the planning approval.

For more information on Ground Investigations please click here

What is a Site walkover?

The site walk overs form an integral part of our Phase 1 Desk Study reports.  The purpose of the survey is to basically see a site in the flesh, to identify potential sources of contamination.During the walkover survey, we will assess areas identified within the desk study as potential development issues, environmental and cost liabilities. We also highlight potential remedial options or management considerations.
Following the desk study and walkover survey, a Site Conceptual Site Model can be developed. This will allow for environmental and geotechnical hazards to be individually assessed.  Any potential pollutant linkages can then be prioritised for any future Phase 2 Site Investigation.

More information on site investigations

What happens if the site is within a Coal Mining Area?

As part of the Phase 1 Desk Study Earth Environmental will assess your site location and establish as part of the Coal Authority Mining Report if your site is in an area of risk.

If the Coal Authority Mining Report indicates that there is a possible risk to ground instability and subsidence, or if we believe there is a potential for unrecorded mines beneath the site or mine entries, a Coal Mining Risk Assessment will be required.

You can check if your site is in a Coal Mining Risk Zone Click Here http://mapapps2.bgs.ac.uk/coalauthority/home.html

Or to discuss your development sites please call Tel: 0161 975 6088 or contact us

What happens when a Phase 1 Desk Study is complete?

Once the Phase 1 Desk Study is complete Earth Environmental will provide you with the risk assessment report via email as a PDF. This can then be submitted to support your planning application, or as part of the Property Transactions (Due Diligence)

If risks have been highlighted in the report further investigations may be required. At Earth Environmental we have a multidisciplined team of qualified engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, drillers and technicians who are experienced in all aspects of ground investigation and remediation works. So if subsequent site investigations, ground investigations and remediation strategy are required we can support all stages of the investigations and provide the solutions to mitigate the risks.

Our staff have extensive experience in the design of geotechnical, mining and environmental site investigations in accordance with current best technical practices and planning guidance. The team are able to manage geotechnical and geo-environmental investigations for the most demanding of sites.

Can a Phase 1 Desk Study and Site Investigations be Completed at the Same Time?

For some clients time constraints are very important. Ensuring all the information on the potential risks of a development site, and what steps need to be taken to mitigate the risks can be essential to support a successful development. If you have established that your development site may need a Phase 1 Desk study and further Site investigation Earth Environmental can complete these assessments at the same time.
This is prudent if you have a tight deadline for a planning application. Call now to discuss with one of our team the best plan of action for your site.

 

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Phase 1 Desk Study
Geology plan for desk based study

Typical information gathered as part of the development of a desk based study includes (It should be noted that not all sources of information will be used within every desk study, e.g. coal mining search  not required in non-mining district):

  • Historical Maps
  • Service Search
  • Unexploded Bombs (UXO)
  • Local Authority Search
  • Petroleum Licencing record of fuel tanks/spills
  • Geological Maps, Memoirs and Specialist Reports
  • Previous Site Investigation Information including reports and boreholes
  • River/Sea/Groundwater Flood Maps
  • Radon Potential
  • Soil Quality Mapping
  • BGS Geochemistry Data
  • HSE records of abandoned metalliferous mines
  • MAFF records for burial pits
  • Brine Subsidence
  • Aerial Photographs
  • Active/Closed Landfill Sites
  • Mining Report including Shafts/Adits and Mineworkings
  • Ecological Geographical Based Systems
  • Local Library Archive Records
  • National Monument Records
  • Water Discharge Consents
  • Pollution Incidents
  • Previous Planning Applications
  • Contamination Land Regulations Status
  • Hydrogeological maps and aquifer status
  • Surface and groundwater abstractions
Phase 1 Desk Study Report Example

FAQ

Phase 1 Desk Study Report Example

Do I need a Phase 1 Desk Study?

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Do I need a Phase 1 Desk Study? If you are planning to develop a site you will generally need to complete a Phase 1 Desk Study. A Phase 1 Desktop Study is a preliminary risk assessment which highlights the potential areas of concern of developing on the proposed site. The report will collate and review a wide range of published information about the specific site to gain detailed information of the development sites historical, geological and environmental location.
Senior Geo-environmental Consultant

From Phase 1 Desk Studies to Telecom Mast Installation: Meet the Team Alice Barrington

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Earth Environmental & Geotechnical Head Office Office : Meet the Team Alice Barrington From Phase 1 Desk Studies with site walkovers, Ground Investigations, Coal Mining Risk Assessments to a national programme of Telecom Mast Installations, it's all in a days work for Alice Barrington - Senior Geo-environmental Consultant for Earth Environmental & Geotechnical based at their Head Office in Stockport Greater Manchester.
Development of Brownfield land

Brownfield Land Development is Key to New Housing Targets

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The development of Brownfield land will continue to be a focus for the next few years in the aim to provide much needed housing throughout the UK. The Government hopes to transform unused and derelict buildings, while making the most of brownfield land. Also to tackle the housing shortage in urban areas by enabling commercial premises to be converted into new homes through a fast-track planning permission process.
flood risk assessment

Do you need a flood risk assessment for planning permission?

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Do you need a flood risk assessment for planning permission? Unsure what a FRA (Flood Risk Assessment) is? If you are planning a new development you may have been told that you need a flood risk assessment as part of your planning application submission. But you may be unsure why you need a FRA as your development site is not near a river or at immediate risk to flooding.
Earthworks Modelling and Geotechnical Design

Earthworks Modelling and Geotechnical Design : Settle3

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Earth Environmental & Geotechnical have acquired another Rocscience software programme, Settle3, to assist with our clients earthworks modelling and geotechnical design projects. Settle3 is a three-dimensional programme for the analysis of vertical settlement and consolidation under surface loads, such as foundations, embankments and surface excavations.
Radon Monitoring and Detection

Radon Monitoring and Detection : Insitu with Markus 10

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Radon Monitoring and detection is an essential assessment required in risk areas throughout the UK. Earth Environmental & Geotechnical have invested in a MARKUS 10 instrument that allows for in-situ measurement of radon gas in soils. If you are planning a new residential or commercial development the Markus 10 can provide a clear understanding of the radon levels in the soil of your development site and can quickly allow for an informed decision whether the development requires radon mitigation measures.
Development of Brownfield Sites

Development of Brownfield Land : Focus for Housing Development

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The development of Brownfield land will continue to be a focus for the next few years in the aim to provide much needed housing throughout the UK. The Government hopes to transform unused and derelict buildings, while making the most of brownfield land. Also to tackle the housing shortage in urban areas by enabling commercial premises to be converted into new homes through a fast-track planning permission process.
Ground Investigations North Yorkshire

Ground Investigations with Earth Environmental’s North East Office

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It’s been a very busy few months for Chris and the team at Earth Environmental & Geotechnical’s North East (EEGNE) Office. They have been on site completing a wide range of Ground Investigations and involved in some exciting new projects for Yorkshire and the North East,
The Manchester and Salford Planning Handbook

The Manchester and Salford Planning Handbook

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The Manchester and Salford Planning Handbook is out today with advice on the “ins and outs” of the planning system in England, check out page 37 featuring Earth Environmental & Geotechnical and our list of Services call now to discuss your new development. Tel:0161 975 6088

Conducting Ground Investigation / Site Investigations

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What Could Delay Your Development Construction? More than 50% of construction projects are delayed by adverse site conditions or unexpected ground conditions. Conducting detailed Site Investigation / Ground Investigations can save you time and money. There are many reason’s a development can be delayed, but one of the key factors that will affect a development is knowing what you are building on.
Slope Stability Assessment

Geotechnical Appraisal Cliff Collapse Newquay Cornwall

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Earth Environmental & Geotechnical (Southern) Ltd were commissioned to undertake a Geotechnical Appraisal for cliff stability of a site near Watergate Bay in Newquay, Cornwall. HM Coastguard had reported a section of the cliff had collapsed in early 2020. As part of the study, a Phase I Desk Study was carried out, including obtaining a site-specific geological and ground stability report.
Phase 1- Desk Study

What Is A Phase 1 Desk Study?

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A Phase 1 Desk Study is a risk assessment report for a development site. For planning applications to be approved, your council needs to know that your development carries no risk to human health or the wider environment. As part of the Phase 1 Desk Study information about the site is collected from a wide range of available documents