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A simple desk study will identify previous uses of the land and immediate surrounding area and establish whether there were any uses that may have led to contamination.
This study gives an overview of regulatory data and any geological or flooding risks. A desk study is a preliminary investigation into environmental liabilities associated with a site, and is typically commissioned prior to the acquisition of land.

A desk study is the minimum requirement that water companies require as part of their risk assessment for any application for new water supplies in brownfield sites. The UK water industry Research (UKWIR) guidance (2011) defines brownfield sites as “land or premises that have previously been used or developed. They may also be vacant or derelict. However, they are not necessarily contaminated”. We can advise whether a cost-effective desk study is likely to meet the water company’s expectations, or whether further investigation would be required.

Whilst a desk study provides valuable information, many local authorities require a site walkover to gather additional information regarding potential contamination prior to awarding planning approval. We can liaise with the local authority and advise as to whether a site reconnaissance visit is likely to be required.