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what is a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment, how do I get a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment, why do I need a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment

What is a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment?

A Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment is most commonly required as part of planning permission for construction projects. Due diligence must be done in consideration of the environmental conditions of the area and any present risks that may be imposed on the people involved in carrying out the construction work, the end users and the building itself. This process involves desk studies, including analysis of historical map data to identify previous uses of the area and collecting environmental data on ground conditions, hydrology and any relevant local features.

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What is a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment?

After receiving planning permission you may see conditions attached that look something like this: "No development shall commence until actual or potential land contamination at the site is investigated and a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment Report is submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Report shall be prepared in accordance with Contaminated Land Report CLR11 (Environment Agency 2004)" and you may be wondering what a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment is. A Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment is required when land contamination is suspected and the risk from such contamination needs to be assessed. This is done by obtaining all available information on a site to develop a Conceptual Site Model.

The process of collecting information on a site for a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment is called a Desk Study and generally involves analysing historical map data to identify past uses of the site and any past nearby contamination sources. It will also include analysing current maps to identify potential sources of contamination close to the site or even sources further away that could have transported contamination a long way. It is also necessary to gather information about the ground conditions at the site which can be done via online databases and all of this information will allow us to develop the Conceptual Site Model.

The Conceptual Site Model is simply a written or diagrammatic explanation of the sources, pathways and receptors present at a particular site. Sources being where contamination comes from (e.g. past industrial activity), pathways being the ways contamination can travel through the environment (e.g. through soil or groundwater) and receptors are the organisms ultimately affected by the contamination (e.g. people).

Why Do I Need a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment?

Wherever historical contamination poses a potential risk to people, buildings and the environment, it is necessary to assess the extent of this risk in a cost benefit analysis. Since it can be costly in terms of time and money and there will always be some element of risk present on any site, it is important to assess whether the risks present are acceptable and whether they require further action. UK legislation dictates that the land contamination risk assessment process be an integral part of any development project where it is deemed necessary and this is why it will be added as a condition to planning approval. A Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment is the first stage of the risk assessment process and will endeavour to assess to level of risk present at a site and determine the need for further investigation. A Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment may conclude that no further testing is necessary as the risk present is minimal, however, it may identify unacceptable risks in which further intrusive testing of soil and/or water will be needed to assess safety of the site.

How Do I Get a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment? - We can carry out Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessments for a range of construction projects on greenfield and brownfield land.

1. Contact us and let us know your requirements
2. Following initial consultation we can provide an outline proposal detailing how we can help and the costs involved
3. Our environmental consultants will then carry out a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment including a detailed desk study
4. We can turnaround our Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment within days of your initial enquiry allowing you to stick to schedules and minimise any disruption to your project

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