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Our phase 1 desk study reports are usually requested by clients looking to do one of the following:
The aim of a phase 1 desktop study is to establish the presence or absence of potential risks associated with historical uses of the land and its wider environmental setting.
Information gathered in the report is used to develop a conceptual site model (CSM), in line with government guidance including CLR11. Along with the CSM, the key output from a phase 1 desk study report is the preliminary risk assessment, or PRA.
Our methods ensure key questions are answered at this early stage. This prevents the unwarranted expenditure that can result from undertaking intrusive ground investigation without good reason.
A solid understanding of construction methods is also essential, but often overlooked undertaking contaminated land risk assessment. Real experience enables us to provide pragmatic expert opinion and realistic suggestions applicable to the development process.
Our phase 1 reports are produced by specialists, tailored to your requirements, and guaranteed to be accepted by local planning authorities, building control, lenders, or any other party as the case may be.
The priority during any phase 1 desktop study should be to identify any potentially significant risks to human health or the wider environment, and ensure that time-consuming intrusive investigation works are only undertaken where necessary. It can often be demonstrated via the phase 1 report that no further assessment is necessary, making the desk study an essential cost-saving step in any potentially contaminated land assessment.
Understanding gained in the completion of a phase 1 desk study also enables any further efforts to be optimised, ensuring key questions are answered without unnecessary cost, for instance by avoiding laboratory analysis for contaminants that are unlikely to have been brought onto the site given its previous use.
The National Planning Policy Framework (2019) dictates that planning policies and decisions should ensure that any new development must be appropriate for its location, taking into account the effects of (potential) pollution on health or the environment. It sets out that to prevent unacceptable risk, the sensitivity of the proposed development and its surrounds should be taken into account, and that responsibility for ensuring a safe development rests with the developer and/or landowner. The NPPF replaced the similarly worded Planning Policy Statement 23: Planning and Pollution Control (November, 2004), in March 2012.
In line with the NPPF, suitability of the site for the proposed use is demonstrated by assessing the impacts of any any previous or adjacent land uses on the development proposals. This is where knowledge and experience of not only historical industrial practices and the contaminated land regime, but also the construction process, are invaluable in reaching robust, pragmatic judgement of the risks potentially posed.
Where we undertake phase 1 contamination reports in relation to property or business transactions, this assists the parties in avoiding the transfer of potential environment liability to them.
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Adeptus phase 1 desk study reports provide concise but comprehensive assessment of the potential for a particular site to pose unacceptable risks to health or the environment, or be deemed contaminated land.
This involves the collation of detailed information required to develop a preliminary conceptual site model, including details of the site's historical use, likely contaminants of concern (if any), environmental setting and sensitivity of proposed use. This information is interpreted by our specialist contaminated land consultant and forms the basis of the preliminary risk assessment.
The conceptual site model is an important part of phase 1 contaminated land assessment and should clearly describe all potentially significant pollutant linkages (SPL) thought to be present at the site. SPL are based on the source, pathway, receptor concept. Qualitative risk assessment is then undertaken to determine the level or absence of risk is in relation to such pollutant linkages.
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