How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Bristol?
One of the key roles of your conveyancer is organising searches on the land on which your home resides. These will give buyers an idea of any risks in the area, if it’s susceptible to flooding, if there are planning permissions in place and any details of past mining works or other industry which may have had an impact on the land.
The searches your conveyancer will organise will be essential to your property purchase, so make sure you read the report thoroughly as it will detail any current or future concerns about the area of Bristol you have chosen to call home.
Both the Local Authority and Environmental searches are designed to ensure that significant risks and hazards with regards to the property in question are identified and considered alongside the investment in or purchase of the property. Cost for these searches varies depending on location. We’ve gathered the costs of the searches required for the Bristol area, as per the Bristol Council website, correct as of June 2020.
Full Residential Search (LLC1 and CON29)
£110 inc VAT
This includes both the LLC1 and the CON29 searches.
£50 inc VAT
This includes details of any restrictions or prohibitions on the land and property and any financial charges held against it. LLC1 is exempt from VAT.
£60 inc VAT
Including approximately 60 enquiries, this search provides vital information such as recent statutory notices, Compulsory Purchase Orders, any building or road proposals that may impact the property.
What Are the Flood Risks in Bristol?
With the harbour in the city centre and close proximity to both the River Avon and the River Frome, a number of locations across Bristol can be at risk of potential flooding. The Bristol Council website has a dedicated flood risk page where you can find out if you’re at risk of flooding, advice if flooding affects your property and how to report flooding issues.
According to the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, approximately 22,300 Bristol residents are at risk of surface flooding, with the city being recognised as one of the UK’s top 10 Flood Risk Areas that are susceptible to surface water flooding. The most high-risk areas include Ashton, Southmead, Henbury, Hengrove, St George and the base of Dundry Hills.
Your conveyancer will organise searches which are undertaken by the local water board, to analyse the impact of flooding risks from nearby rivers, lakes and the sea. Historical data will be taken into account on any past flooding and whether it is likely to flood again.
Bristol was hit hard by widespread flooding in July 1968, most notably in the South of the city. More recently, many areas of Bristol were affected by flooding as a result of Storm Dennis in February 2020.
The flood risk in Bristol comes as a result of surface water, tidal flooding, flooding from rivers, groundwater and flooding from the underground surface pipe network. Climate change is also expected to increase the severity of flooding in the area. This will be taken into account in the searches organised by your conveyancer.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Bristol?
A subsidence hotspots map created by Geobear showed that the city of Bristol is an area with a high recording of subsidence and ground stability issues. As part of the Environmental search, your conveyancer will arrange for a Ground Stability report to be undertaken on the home and the surrounding area.
One industry which can have a significant impact on the stability of the land is mining. If there is a history of mining in the area, an additional mining report will need to be conducted. The Bristol area once had a large mining community, with open cast mining was recorded in Bristol as early as 1670. Coal mining took place in areas such as Kingswood and in Bedminster, where there were a dozen mines by the 1820s.
These areas will most likely require a CON29M coal mining report, which can also be arranged by your conveyancer. The coal mining report will reveal if there are any issues due to past-coal mining activity and if there are any future plans for mining in the area. Subsidence is also an element which is also taken into account by a building surveyor should you choose to have a building survey completed on the property.
- Reveals instability issues from natural or man-made hazards.
- Highlights historic and current landfill sites.
- Identifies natural ground subsidence.
- Recognises historic tin, coal, clay and any other mining activity.
What Are the Radon Gas Levels in Bristol?
Certain areas of Bristol and the surrounding areas have been found to be “high-risk” zones for radon gas. This radioactive and dangerous gas is formed by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soils. Radon gas is both colourless and odourless.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco so it is vital that you are aware of the levels and risk in the area before purchasing a property. Your conveyancer will be able to arrange for a report to be compiled which will include details on levels of radon gas in the area of Bristol where the property you wish to purchase is situated.
In Bristol and the South West, levels of the gas are higher than many other parts of the country. An interactive heat map created by Public Health England shows that there is a greater chance of emissions in areas such as Long Ashton, Henleaze and Southmead.
Areas closer to the city centre including Clifton and Bedminster also showed higher levels of the gas. If you are looking to purchase a property in any of these areas, make sure you hire a good conveyancer and pay close attention to the reports provided.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Bristol?
A key element of the Environmental search organised by your conveyancer, Contaminated Land Searches will review historical land use, current and recent industrial use and waste and landfill. It will also review contaminated land liability. Since Bristol has a strong industrial history, this search will be crucial to identify if the land in the area has been contaminated by historical work on and around the area.
The search will provide a professional assessment of any potential risks which would deem the property to be designated as ‘Contaminated Land’, as defined by Part 2A of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act. The report will reveal if the property has “passed” or if action is required. “Action Required” does not necessarily mean the property is unsuitable for purchase, but further assessments will be necessary.
These further assessments will depend on the area of Bristol you are looking to purchase, and what industries or work on the land was undertaken there. Sites such as former factories, mines, steelworks, refineries and landfills could be affected, with the land potential polluted by chemicals, gasses, oils and tars or heavy metals, according to Bristol council. Your conveyancer will be able to organise any additional searches required.