Skip to main content

What is a Phase 1 Desk Study?

The Artisan Surveyors team has extensive experience conducting thorough environmental assessments for our clients. With our knowledge and expertise, we can provide all the data and information required prior to the development, re-development or acquisition of a site, leaving no stone unturned and no nasty surprises.

What is a Phase 1 Desk Study?

A Desk Study is a pragmatic preliminary risk assessment of the study area based upon the collation and appraisal of published data from multiple sources such as The British Geological Survey, the Environment Agency and Ordnance Survey, relating to the site’s geological, environmental and historical setting.

The objective of a Desk Study is to determine a preliminary risk rating to the site and to inform the planning of any subsequent stages of an intrusive site investigation. This is accomplished by identifying the risks associated with any potential ground related hazards and any potential contamination sources, their pathways and receptors that may pose a potential risk to human health, controlled waters, vegetation, structures and services.

In most cases a Phase 1 Desk Study is required for either

  • Site Development: In many cases a Desk Study (Preliminary Risk Assessment) is considered as a best practice and is a requirement identified in the planning conditions defined by the Local Authority Planning Department. In this situation, the desk study is undertaken to satisfy regulatory requirements of entities such as, the planning authority and building control, NHBC and the Environment Agency.
  • Property sale or acquisition: It is recommended when buying a site or property that a Desk Study is undertaken to identify and appraise the potential risk associated with the site or property and therefore the liabilities the prospective buyer will acquire. For example, there may be contaminants present on site that may impact any future development and prove expensive to remove.

A Desk Study is a pragmatic preliminary risk assessment of the study area based upon the collation and appraisal of published data from multiple sources relating to the site’s geological, environmental and historical setting.

Our Phase 1 Desk Studies include:

  • Executive Summary: summarising the report findings.
  • Site Details and Overview: Site Location, Site Extent, Current Site Use, Proposed Site Use, Summary and Findings of the Site Walkover, Details of the Surrounding Environs.
  • Historical Appraisal: an evaluation of historic uses and structures on the site and in the surrounding environs from historic maps and plans.
  • Geological Appraisal: Artificial / Made Ground, Superficial Deposits, Bedrock Geology, Natural Hazards, Radon, Mining History, etc.
  • Environmental Appraisal: Hydrogeology and Hydrology, Flood Risk, Pollution History, Land Fill Sites, Potential Contamination Sources, Unexploded Ordnance Risk, etc.
  • Conceptual Ground Model: A preliminary risk assessment of potential ground related hazards and any potential contamination sources, their pathways and receptors that may pose a potential risk to human health, controlled waters, vegetation, structures and services.
  • Conclusions / Recommendations: Conclusions and recommendations if required but not limited to Contamination Analysis, Ground Water or Ground Gas Monitoring, etc.

All Phase 1 Desk Studies include a site reconnaissance visit by one of our engineers to inspect the site and record any information such as current site use, ground cover, potential contamination sources to supplement the information sources within the Desk Study.

All desk studies must include a site reconnaissance survey and are a requirement of all Local Authorities. A Desk Study excluding a site survey is likely to be rejected or incur additional Planning Conditions. Additionally, the risk of unforeseen site investigation costs and liabilities significantly increases.

What are the Benefits of a Phase 1 Desk Study?

The benefits of undertaking a Phase 1 Desk Study prior to commencement of an intrusive site investigation or site accusation include:

  • Discharge of planning conditions;
  • Bespoke to the study area;
  • Mitigate / Minimise risk;
  • Quantify / qualify risks;
  • Accurate financial planning;
  • Reduce onsite delays;
  • The development of a conceptual ground model;
  • Provide early insight into previously unknown site characteristics;
  • Risk assessment enables the appropriate, efficient and cost-effective planning of subsequent site investigations;
  • Provides an analysis of potential contaminants and anticipated areas of contamination, enabling a targeted intrusive site investigation;
  • The identification of potential Geotechnical and Geo-Environmental and Health and Safety issues that could impact the project or site investigation;
  • Cost-effective design of foundations / geotechnical structures.

Phase 1 Desk Study with Artisan Surveyors

Our specialist team has experience and in-depth knowledge of the property sector. Whenever you embark on a brand-new project, we can help you save time, work within budget and reduce the risks associated with any site. We have worked extensively over the years with local authority and planning departments, working to strict planning requirements and provide detailed, accurate environmental assessments of potential hazards on site.

If you would like to find out more about our Phase 1 Desk Study and other Environmental Assessment services, please feel free to contact our Geo-Environmental team on 02380 982 598 or office@artisansurveyors.co.uk.

Cookie Notice

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.

Back to top