How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Cheltenham?
Local Land Charges searches are an essential part of the conveyancing process. The results of these searches can inform potential buyers of essential information about the property and the surrounding area. The majority of this information is held by the local authority, in this case, Cheltenham Borough Council.
These searches will be organised on your behalf by your conveyancer who will send you the reports once the searches have been completed. The data and information provided in your search reports include any flood risks in the area, the levels of Radon Gas, ground stability and details of previous industrial activity which may have had a negative impact on the land.
Cost for these searches will depend on the location of the property you are looking to purchase. Councils set their own fees so they will vary from location to location. Below we have listed the costs of these searches in Cheltenham.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£25.00 inc VAT
The LLC1 search informs purchasers of restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, such as tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges.
£153.36 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
What Are the Flood Risks in Cheltenham?
The River Chelt, which runs through Cheltenham, is a tributary of the River Severn. According to The Agricultural and Environmental Data Archive (AEDA), the Chelt is a “very short, steep river, coming down from the Cotswolds which is prone to quick flooding”. The AEDA claims flooding can occur within 2 hours and there is often no time to issue flood warnings or to prepare.
It is estimated that 600 properties are at risk in the event of a 1 in 100* year flood event, which has been a concern for the area since the devastating flooding of 1979.
In 1995, the Chelt’s status was upgraded to that of a Main River and responsibility for the river was handed over to the Environment Agency who created the Chelt Flood Alleviation scheme, working to replace the small culverts that have caused issues in the past and building flood walls where necessary.
Moreover, a multi-million-pound alleviation scheme to protect 500 Cheltenham residents from future flooding was completed by Gloucestershire County Council in 2018. This aims to greatly reduce the flood risks to the Whaddon and Oakley areas of Cheltenham.
As part of the Environmental Searches organised by your conveyancer, a flood risk search will be undertaken around the area of Cheltenham you are looking to buy in. Along with the other search reports, the search results for flood concerns will be sent to you to review. It is very important that you read the findings thoroughly and raise any concerns with your conveyancer prior to purchase.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Cheltenham?
Ground stability and subsidence issues can cause the foundations of a property to become unstable, making the home potentially unsafe to live in. This can also result in the property rapidly decreasing in value.
A map created by Geobear identifying the UK subsidence hotspots shows that there is evidence of subsidence in the town of Cheltenham, although not to the extent of cities such as Bristol and Birmingham which show far higher readings.
Your conveyancer will organise the required Environmental searches for the property you are looking to purchase, which include a Ground Stability report. This will highlight any risks of landslide, subsidence, previous land use or any other concerns regarding the stability of the ground where the property resides.
- 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 Cheltenham?
Your search report will include the level of Radon Gas in the area of Cheltenham where the property you are looking to purchase is located. Radon Gas is formed by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. The gas is colourless and odourless and can potentially cause a variety of health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers.
A heat map of Radon Gas affected areas from Public Health England shows that although to the West there is a low amount of Radon, there are areas of Cheltenham with considerable readings of Radon Gas. This level rises further out of the town in the North, South and East.
Due to the health risks associated with the gas, this is one of the most essential searches organised by your conveyancer. Ensure you read the search reports thoroughly so that you have peace of mind that Radon Gas is not a concern for your Cheltenham home.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Cheltenham?
According to Cheltenham Borough Council; “An area may be labelled as contaminated land if it has the potential to cause significant harm due to substances in, on or under the land, or where there is likely to be pollution of controlled water. The harm may be to human health, plants, property, crops, livestock, ecological systems or ancient monuments and archaeological sites.”
In Cheltenham, the council reports that some land within the borough may be contaminated due to past industrial use. In Marle Hill, dangerously high levels of methane and carbon dioxide were found to be seeping out of the disused landfill site beneath the local park.
The council states that land is formally determined as contaminated land if it is deemed an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment following an inspection as part of the council’s contaminated land inspection strategy.
It is essential that you thoroughly read your contaminated land search results and query anything that concerns you regarding the property. The search, organised by your conveyancer, will usually include a study of Cheltenham’s historic maps, land use records and other information that may indicate contamination or pollution on the land.