<NumberOfPhases> is always set to 1 in the XML of a new activity notice.
The <NumberOfPhases> element in the XML of a notice for a new activity is your estimate of how many phases it will take you to complete the works overall, not the phase number the notice is for. This is declared on the TMA1000 form and by default is set to 1 but can be changed.
For reference please see page 50 of the EToN Technical Specification v5.01 which is available from here:http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/network/local/streetworks/cop/pdfelectronictransnotices.pdf
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