Site Acquisition Support, Merseyside

DBS Environmental Phase 2 Ground Investigations

Site Acquisition Support, Contaminated Land Due Diligence, Merseyside

DBS supported an industry client through the process of Environmental Due Diligence for site acquisition for a waste oil treatment plant.

Client: Confidential Developer Client


DBS provided support to an industry client during the acquisition of a new site for their waste oils processing and recycling business. The client wanted to purchase a new site within the north west of England to support their growing business, the site needed to be suitable for industrial use, and also needed to be geographically located close to the major road networks within the St Helens and Warrington areas of Merseyside, and across to Greater Manchester.

DBS visited potential sites that were on the market to assess their suitability, and undertook a screening exercise of potentially suitable sites to identify potential liability and contamination constraints associated with site purchase.

A lot of sites that were evaluated had the potential for significant liabilities to be present due to their location in an area used for heavy industry from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. In particular, a lot of vacant sites had been used by the glass industry and had suffered significant contamination of land and controlled waters as a result.

This led to DBS compiling a short list of suitable sites available to the client, and existing information available for these sites in the form of site closure reports, waste management documentation and any site investigation reports was critically reviewed by DBS to identify risks to the client with site acquisition, or, to identify additional costs that would be involved to obtain contemporary information to enable the sites to be redeveloped through the planning system, so that the client could use these costs as a negotiating tool on the land value.

The local planning authorities were also consulted during this process to find out local knowledge on the sites from a regulatory perspective.

By undertaking this process, DBS supported the client and reduced their exposure to significant liabilities and elevated development costs due to contamination constraints, resulting in the client acquiring a site that was suitable for their needs without significant risks.

After site acquisition DBS prepared a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Desk

Study report to support the planning application for a change of use at the site, formulating a robust initial Conceptual Model (CM) in the process. The report identified that additional tiers of risk assessment were not required at the site, so we were able to take the unusual step of the client not having to undertake Phase 2 work and the associated costs of this due to the findings of the initial CM.

Following planning approval the new installation will be regulated through the PPC regime.