When is a Phase 1 desk study required

phase 1 desk report

What is a Phase 1 Desk Study?

In order to understand when a Phase 1 desk study is required, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of what it is exactly.

Desk study reports offer an initial insight into any potentially significant risks at a specified construction site. The report is enforced by many local planning authorities before a development is allowed to commence.

The desk study will typically include a site investigation and assessment of any previous geotechnical work that has already been carried out. This process allows the developer to have a clear understanding of the ground conditions at the site, as well as any potential risks associated with those conditions.

What happens during the study?

During the process of a Phase 1 desk study, a full analysis of information published about the site’s historical and geographical environment is performed. The purpose of this study is to identify geotechnical risks and potential contaminants which could cause harm to humans, vegetation, water systems, structures and services.

In order to do this, a site investigation is carried out in order to assess the ground conditions at the site. This will typically involve taking samples of soil and water from the site, as well as carrying out a visual inspection.

Once the information has been gathered, it will be assessed by a team of experts who will then compile a report detailing their findings. This report will be used to inform the decision on whether or not a development can go ahead at the site.

Contents of a Phase 1 desk study:

  1. Report summary – An outline of the key findings from the report.
  2. Site walkover – A visit to the site to gain further information to supplement the desk study.
  3. Historical review – Detailed information of the sites historical uses and analysis.
  4. Geographical appraisal – A desktop review of background information on the geographical landscape.
  5. Environmental Assessment – Used to identify land contamination, pollution incidents and flooding risks.
  6. Preliminary conceptual site model – Combines the information gathered to identify where risks could present.

When is a Phase 1 desk study required?

Due to the requirement of a Phase 1 desk study in order to gain planning permission, anyone planning to develop a site will need to complete the study as part of the planning application.

Required by the local planning authority

Phase 1 risk assessments are often required in order to get a planning application approved. This is because the report provides detailed information on environmental and geotechnical risks at a site, which allows local planning authorities to make an informed decision about whether or not the development can proceed.

Required for large scale developments

Phase 1 desk studies are often required for larger scale developments, as these types of projects have higher potential risks that must be assessed. This is due to the fact that larger developments are more likely to impact on the surrounding environment, which could cause harm to humans, animals or plants.

Due diligence

A Phase 1 desk study is also often required for commercial developments or construction of residential properties by the buyers. This is to identify any potential hazards or obligations that the purchaser will be taking responsibility for.

Who can do a Phase 1 desk study for you?

You can save a lot of time and money by hiring an external company to undertake your Phase 1 desk study for you. IBEX Consulting Engineers provide the opportunity to collaborate with professional geotechnical engineers who be able to undertake a full and comprehensive Phase 1 desk study. IBEX CE have a team of chartered engineers who will follow the latest regulations to complete your Phase 1 desk study to the highest standards.

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