How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Greenwich?
The searches organised by your conveyancer are one of the most important steps when it comes to buying a house in the UK. The results of these searches can provide you with useful information about the property you are looking to buy, including information held by the local authority, in this case, Greenwich Council.
It is vital that you raise any concerns you have with the findings and results of the searches at the earliest possible convenience. Your local authority report will highlight any restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, such as tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges. It will also provide information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
The environmental searches organised by your solicitor will review land use and any concerns regarding contamination of the land. It will also shed light on any flood risk, the level of radon gas and any issues relating to ground stability and subsidence.
The local authority search is split into two parts - the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) and the CON29 form. The conveyancing search fees will depend on the location of the property you are looking to purchase. The cost of the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) in Greenwich is £35 and the CON29 form is £128 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £16.50 per question.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£35 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.
£138 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£163 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined
£16.50 inc VAT
These are the optional issues you can ask about, which would be in addition to the standard information provided.
What Are the Flood Risks in Greenwich?
The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) for the London Borough of Greenwich identified that there are “significant areas” at risk from flooding throughout the borough. Fluvial flood risk, affects areas of Greenwich alongside the River Quaggy, Ravensbourne, Shuttle, Deptford Creek and Butts Canal. Some flood alleviation works have taken place in the Borough, most notably the flood alleviation scheme on the River Quaggy at Sutcliffe Park.
The SFRA reported that tidal flood risk is “extensive” and a breach in the defences, although a low probability of occurrence, would have a high consequence, causing significant of the Thamesmead, New Charlton and Greenwich Peninsula areas of the Borough.
The council further reported that areas such as Abbey Wood have experienced surface flooding problems in the past and areas of the Borough which are potentially at risk from surface water flooding include Eltham, Kidbrooke, Greenwich Peninsula, New Charlton, Royal Arsenal East, Plumstead and Abbey Wood.
Moreover, sewer flooding does not appear to be problematic in the majority of Greenwich but areas such as Eltham have experienced problems in the past.
When buying a house in Greenwich, your solicitor will arrange searches that can highlight the potential flooding issues, if any, in and around the area you are looking to buy. As flooding can cause considerable damage to residential properties - and in some cases a threat to life - it is crucial that you are aware of any risks prior to purchasing. You can protect both yourself and your investment by reading your search reports thoroughly and raise any concerns you may have with your conveyancing solicitor prior to completion.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Greenwich?
A crucial element of the searches arranged by your conveyancer is ensuring there are no issues regarding ground stability in and around the home. Ground instability can cause a host of serious problems for homeowners, from decreasing the value of the home to subsidence, which can cause the house to “sink” and become unstable.
Much of Greater London has been built on a natural material known as “London Clay”, a type of shrinkable clay which is susceptible to changes. As a result, London is a known hotspot for ground stability issues. This is further exasperated by the considerable amount of large and high-rise buildings in a condensed area, adding pressure on the ground
According to a map created by Geobear, which identifies the UK subsidence hotspots, risks of subsidence are present throughout East London. Furthermore, evidence of subsidence can be seen across the borough of Greenwich. Although the findings appear to be a lower risk than areas of Central and South London, it can still be a concern for potential homeowners looking to move to the area.
Your search report will highlight any risks of subsidence and any other concerns regarding the stability of the ground around the area of Greenwich you are looking to buy. This will allow you to make an educated decision on the property purchase and understand any risks or concerns regarding ground instability.
- 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 Greenwich?
Radon Gas is formed from the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil across the UK. It is both colourless and odourless and as a result, can often go undetected in UK homes. High levels can potentially cause a number of serious health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers.
According to Public Health England’s heat map of Radon Gas, there is evidence of Radon Gas throughout East London, however, there are much lower levels within Greenwich. Especially in the centre of the borough, readings are some of the lowest in the UK. There are slightly higher levels (albeit still very low) on outer areas of the borough, such as Plumstead and Kidbrooke.
Due to the health risks associated with Radon Gas, it is essential that you are aware of the levels of radon gas in the area of Greenwich you are looking to buy. Ensure that you read your report thorough and query anything you are uncertain of with your solicitor.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Greenwich?
Any land that contains pollution and substances which are considered harmful to human health, water sources and the environment is considered “contaminated land”. This contamination is usually caused by past industrial use or the deposition of waste such as heavy metals, oils and tars, solvents, gases, asbestos and radioactive substances.
According to the Environmental agency which holds historical information on the number of landfill sites that have closed since 1976, London has the least historical landfill sites. However, contaminated land can come from a variety of sources throughout London and the borough of Greenwich is no exception.
An example of this is The Heights estate in Charlton. According to the council, during development, a section of the estate was considered too steep to undertaken remediation works. The council reported that contamination on the site included miscellaneous waste deposited between WW1 & WW2 including some heavy metals.
Your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the necessary environmental searches to ensure contaminated land will not be an issue in and around your new Greenwich home. This will usually include a search of records and maps held by Greenwich Council. These documents will relate to historic land use, current or previous planning activity and data about waste, landfill sites and pollution incidents in Greenwich.