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Phase 1 Desk Study

A Phase 1 Desk Study is the first stage of a phased contaminated land assessment and is often required by local planning authorities to support planning applications, remove objections or discharge planning conditions.

The scale of developments that may require a Desk Study can range from minor building extensions to large strategic housing sites.

In addition to supporting the planning process, Phase 1 Desk Studies are also used to:

  • Satisfy NHBC land quality conditions (or any other warranty provider).

  • Provide financial security for banks and mortgage lenders.

  • Provide legal security to solicitors who may be conveyancing as part of land purchase.

  • Support Environmental Due Diligence audits.

  • Inform an Environmental Statement for inclusion into an Environmental Impact Assessment.

A Phase 1 Desk Study is arguably the most important part of a contaminated land assessment as it defines the need and scope for any further site investigation and subsequent remedial action, as required, that will be significantly more expensive.

How can Lustre Consulting help?

In order to meet your needs and ensure you remain compliant, all our Phase 1 Desk Studies are carried out in accordance with current guidance such as the recommended approach set out in the Environment Agency’s Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination (CLR11) including:

  • A site walkover by a professional consultant to assess the current condition and interview people most familiar with the site.

  • Review of historical OS maps dating back to the mid-1800s, review of available site plans and aerial photographs.

  • Identification of known pollution incidents, landfill sites and discharge consents using publically available information.

  • Review of the environmental setting including geology, hydrogeology and hydrology.

  • Development of a conceptual site model and qualitative risk assessment.

  • Preparation of a report ready for submission to the local planning authority or appropriate authority.

Our Phase 1 Desk Studies regularly receive positive feedback from clients and planning regulators such as local environmental health officers. We pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive conceptual model and risk assessment with clear and concise recommendations helping to move the development forward.

Points to consider...

Some important points to consider when commissioning a Phase 1 Desk Study:

  • Do you have any planning conditions attached to your permission? Or is the purpose of the study to support a new application?

  • Is the site operational or derelict? Is there anyone available to speak to who is familiar with the site and its previous use? 

  • For delivery of our Phase 1 report we will usually require at least 1 to 2 weeks from receipt of formal instruction. However, it is possible to turnaround a report within 2 to 3 days if it is urgent.

  • It is recommended that the completed Phase 1 Desk Study is submitted to the local planning authority for review and comment, ideally before commencing with any Phase 2 Site Investigation work.