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Typical information gathered as part of the development of a desk based study includes (It should be noted that not all sources of information will be used within every desk study, e.g. coal mining search not required in non-mining district):
- Historical Maps
- Service Search
- Local Authority Search
- Petroleum Licencing record of fuel tanks/spills
- Geological Maps, Memoirs and Specialist Reports
- Previous Site Investigation Information including reports and boreholes
- River/Sea/Groundwater Flood Maps
- Radon Potential
- Soil Quality Mapping
- BGS Geochemistry Data
- HSE records of abandoned metalliferous mines
- MAFF records for burial pits
- Brine Subsidence
- Aerial Photographs
- Active/Closed Landfill Sites
- Mining Report including Shafts/Adits and Mineworkings
- Ecological Geographical Based Systems
- Local Library Archive Records
- National Monument Records
- Water Discharge Consents
- Pollution Incidents
- Previous Planning Applications
- Contamination Land Regulations Status
- Hydrogeological maps and aquifer status
- Surface and groundwater abstractions
Desk based studies should always precede any ground investigation and ideally should be accompanied by a walk over survey conducted by an experienced practitioner. By compiling available information in relation to a sites environmental, geological, hydrogeological, hydrological and mining setting a cost effective and focussed site investigation will be developed.
There are many reasons for procuring a desk study but most frequently are for planning purposes and as part of site/company pre-purchase due diligence studies or part of a lending assessment for financial institutions.
Data acquired as part of a desk study can be tailored specifically to the proposed development, the client’s budget or overall scope of works. The interpretive desk based report is also backed by Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Due to the experience of all our staff all desk studies will include an assessment of the prevailing geotechnical conditions such as potential heave/settlement or mining issues associated with coal extraction or other mineral deposits. We will also provide a summary of any obvious ecological areas of interest including invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
In combination with a site walkover a desk study is a good means of identifying potential liabilities or abnormal costs associated with the development of a site. The walkover gives the ability to observe ground conditions together with the general setting of the site (including potential nuisance neighbours) all in relation to the pre-acquired and reviewed desk based information.
During the site walkover survey ground conditions can be examined to reveal any evidence of tipping, potential sources of contamination, weak ground, waterlogging, invasive plants, asbestos in buildings (or on site surface), type and extent of vegetation or signs of slope instability. During the walkover process access details will be assessed and armed with all the preliminary data a site investigation strategy will evolve.
Earth Environmental & Geotechnical provide a rapid response, fixed price desk based study which can be acquired via our website portal. The cost for such a report depends upon the size of the site and proximity to our regional offices in Manchester and Dorset.
Vegetation such as Japanese Knotweed may form part of a Phase I Study.
Earth Environmental & Geotechnical provide a wide range of Desk Study services, click here to contact us for further information.