When do you need a Phase 1 Desk Study?

When do you need a Phase 1 Desk Study?

If you are planning to develop a site, whether it is a large-scale commercial development, a residential development, or an extension to an existing property,  you will generally need to complete a Phase 1 Desk Study as part of your planning application. But when is the ideal time to get the phase 1 desktop report?

A Phase I Desk Study is normally carried out at the start of the site investigation process. The Phase 1 Desktop report can be completed before the site is purchased or when the site is purchased and the planning application for development is in the initial stages of preparation.

Property Transactions (Due Diligence)

The Phase 1 Desktop Report can be completed as part of the Due Diligence property transaction process, i.e. before you purchase the site/property or once the land or existing property is purchased. The Phase 1 Desk report will inform you of the associated risks involved with the specific development site and can also highlight what further site investigations will be required and if necessary the remediation steps that may be needed.

Completing a Phase 1 Desktop study before you purchase a site is a prudent step. The report will ensure you are fully aware of all the potential risks involved before you have committed to the site’s development. Having an understanding of any potential contaminants, unstable ground conditions, potential flooding issues, etc before you purchase is a wise move to ensure there are no unknown issues that could prove costly and not budgeted for.

A preliminary risk assessment from a phase 1 Desk Report can help to determine if a development scheme is viable.

Developing a Site

A Phase 1 Desk Study can also be completed once you have acquired the site /property. Frequently Phase 1 Reports are completed not just to inform the developer of the risks, but also to satisfy requirements of different regulatory bodies, e.g. Planning Departments, Environmental Health Departments, the Environment Agency, Building Control Departments, and National House Building Council (NHBC).

The Phase 1 Desk Report may be a requirement in the Planning Conditions set out by the Local Authority Planning Department. The information detailed in the Phase 1 Desk Study may be required to satisfy regulatory bodies that your site development will not have associated risks.

What is a Phase 1 Desk Study?

A Phase 1 Desktop Study is a preliminary risk assessment that 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 site’s historical, geological and environmental location.

Phase 1 Desk studies are also known as:

  • Phase 1 Desktop Study
  • Phase 1 Desktop Report
  • Phase 1 Contamination Report
  • Preliminary Risk Assessment
  • Phase 1 Geo-Environmental Study
  • Phase 1 Ground Investigation

How much does a Phase 1 Desk Study cost?

At Earth Environmental & Geotechnical we offer a fixed price Phase 1 Desktop Study 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
You can order on line here

or contact us to discuss your specific development site needs.

What is involved with a Phase 1 Desktop Report?

A Phase 1 Desk Study should be completed before any ground investigation works commence and should ideally be completed with a site walkover.

At Earth Environmental our Phase 1 Desk Study Reports have a 3 step approach.
Comprehensive review of the details of the development proposal
Detailed appraisal of the risk and hazards posed by environmental and geotechnical conditions of the proposed development site
Collation of all the information to produce the interpretive report

Each  Phase 1 Desktop Report will provide comprehensive datasets for full details of what is included and what information is reviewed Click Here

The report gathers information from an extensive range of documents and may include:

  • Historical Maps
  • Service Search
  • Unexploded Bombs (UXO)
  • Local Authority Search
  • Petroleum Licensing 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

What information is gathered will depend on the sites location and history.

For example Coal Mining reports may not need to be included if the site is located in a non Mining area.

If you are considering purchasing a site or property for development, or own land you plan to develop please contact Earth Environmental & Geotechnical to discuss our services and how we can help