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Site-walkovers, a necessary part of a Preliminary Risk Assessment

Here we discuss why a site walkover is needed (or sometimes not required).

Site-walkovers, a necessary part of a Preliminary Risk Assessment

When discussing the need for a Preliminary Risk Assessment (aka Contaminated Land Assessment, aka Phase 1 Desk Study) with a client, they will often ask “do you really need to visit the site?”.  It’s a fair question as this visit will add time and money to the process.  But, whether the Preliminary Risk Assessment is to satisfy a planning condition or provide potential purchasers some confidence as to what they’re buying, a site-walkover can provide essential information.  When Soilutions undertake a site-walkover, we’re conscious that we are acting as trained and experienced eyes for anyone reading our subsequent report.  We hope that a Contaminated Land Officer or financier will trust our “eyes” and have confidence that we’ve spotted any evidence of current or historic contamination, or similarly, gain some comfort if our site-walkover highlighted nothing of concern.

Of course, the walkover is only one line of evidence used in a complete Preliminary Risk Assessment, but without one the following may have remained as unknowns:

a generator with fuel tank found during a walkover

Tanks identified during a site-walkover

We’re always pragmatic regarding the need for a walkover and don’t always undertake them if there is a good reason not to, reasons may include:

  • an isolated greenfield site where preparatory groundworks have already been undertaken or
  • a site with known contamination where a Phase 2 Site Investigation will inevitably be required

So, in response to the oft asked “do you really need to visit the site?”, we’d suggest “yes, probably”.  As always, we’re happy to discuss any potential assessment and agree the best approach to meet client needs.



Phase 1 Desk Studies / Preliminary Risk Assessments

Do you want an insight on Phase 1 Desk Studies / Preliminary Risk Assessments for Contaminated Land? This eBook has been written specifically for those new to contaminated land and provides an overview for the uninitiated of what steps you need to follow.

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