How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Lewisham?
Searches organised by your conveyancer are an essential part of buying a house in the UK. These can provide you with useful information about the property you are looking to buy, including information held by Lewisham Council.
The environmental searches organised by your solicitor will detail any flood risks in the area of the home, the level of radon gas and any issues relating to ground stability and subsidence. The search will also include reviewing previous land use and any concerns regarding contamination.
A local authority report is designed to highlight any restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, including tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges. It will also including information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
The fees for these searches vary from council to council and will depend on where you are looking to buy a home. The cost of a full search in the borough of Lewisham is £153.70. A Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) is £43, with the CON29 form costing £110.70 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £12.30 each.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£43 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.
£110.70 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£153.70 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined
£12.30 each 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 Lewisham?
When it comes to flooding, Lewisham Council’s Strategic Flood Risk Assessment reported that there are several sources of flood risk across the Borough. These include fluvial, tidal, pluvial, sewer and artificial.
Additionally, surface water flooding is becoming an increasing issue in Lewisham due to urban sprawl (increased impermeable area) and climate change. The Flood Risk Assessment states, however, that it should be noted that no significant known issues with groundwater flooding have been identified in the Borough
According to Lewisham Council’s website, the Thames and its tributaries are at the most risk of flooding during heavy rain and at high tide. Areas most likely to be affected in the borough are New Cross, Deptford, central Lewisham, and low-lying areas around the A21.
Efforts have been made to reduce the risks of flooding the borough. The Thames Barrier, for example, is designed to help prevent flooding due to high tides. The council have also made substantial landscaping improvements to reduce the risk of flooding by increasing the capacity of the borough’s waterways and rivers.
As part of the process of buying a house in Lewisham, your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the required searches that can highlight the potential flooding issues in the area. Severe flooding has the potential to cause considerable damage to residential properties - and in some cases a threat to life - so it is essential that you are aware of any flood risks before you purchase the home.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Lewisham?
Another concern for potential homeowners is ground stability and subsidence. Ground instability can cause a host of serious problems for homeowners, from decreasing the value of the home to making it unstable and unsafe to live in.
London is a known hotspot for ground stability issues as large areas of Greater London have been built on a natural material known as “London Clay”, a type of shrinkable clay which is susceptible to changes. The city is further impacted by the amount of large and high-rise buildings in a condensed area, adding pressure on the ground.
This is backed by the findings illustrated in a map created by Geobear identifying the subsidence hotspots across the UK. The map shows that subsidence is a concern across the city and throughout East London, including the borough of Lewisham. Although it is a lower amount than in the centre of London and areas such as Battersea, it is still an issue to be aware of when buying a home in Lewisham.
The environmental searches organised by your solicitor will include details of ground instability and subsidence concerns in the area of Lewisham you are looking to buy. This allows you to make a confident decision on the property purchase and address any concerns prior to purchase.
- 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 Lewisham?
Radon Gas is formed from the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil across the UK. As it is both colourless and odourless, it can often go undetected in UK homes and can potentially cause serious health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers
Public Health England has created a heat map of Radon Gas as a visual guide of the levels across the UK. The map shows that a low level of Radon Gas has been detected across the boroughs of East London. Readings are notably low across the majority of Lewisham, with a slight increase to the North of the borough, around the areas of Lewisham Park and Hilly Fields.
Your environmental search reports will provide you with the level of Radon Gas for the area of Lewisham you are looking to move to. If you have any concerns regarding the report findings, you must raise this with your conveyancing solicitor at the earliest possible convenience.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Lewisham?
Contaminated Land is largely a result of previous industrial activity and waste disposal across the UK. Pollutants from past industries can seep into the land and waterways and contaminate them, making them potentially unsafe for humans and the wider environment.
According to Lewisham Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy, historically the majority of industrial processes were located in the north of the district, in the areas of Deptford and New Cross. These included activities such as timber yards, engineering, iron/steel manufacture, leather, oil and tar.
Deptford was the largest settlement at the beginning of the nineteenth century, its development due to its proximity to the Thames and the Deptford Creek. The area has a long history with both the Royal Navy and merchant shipping, which Lewisham Council’s report states is illustrated by the fact that the sites of many potentially contaminative industries were located in this part of the Borough.
With the industrial history of the borough in mind, it is important to be aware of any risks from contaminated land prior to purchasing a home in Lewisham. Your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the necessary environmental searches to check for any contaminated land in and around the area of the home you are looking to buy. This will usually include a search of records and maps held by the local council, relating to historic land use, current or previous planning activity and data about waste, landfill sites and pollution incidents within the borough.