How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Newcastle?
Local Land Charges searches are an essential part of the conveyancing process and the results inform potential purchasers of essential information about the property. The majority of this information is held by the local authority, in this case, Newcastle City Council.
Your conveyancer will arrange these searches on your behalf and send you the reports once the searches have been completed. The information provided in your search reports includes flood risks in the area, if there are any planning permissions in place, the levels of Radon Gas and details of previous industrial activity which may have had a negative impact on the land. This includes ground instability and contaminated land.
Cost for these searches will depend on the location of the property you are looking to purchase. Councils set their own fees and can cost anywhere between £50 to £250. Many conveyancers offer a “search package” which includes all required searches, with prices ranging from £250 to £450, which varies from location to location and the number of searches required.
LLC1 and CON29
£50-£200 (Average for the UK) 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. The enquiry form CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
What Are the Flood Risks in Newcastle?
Newcastle has suffered from flooding in the past, most notably in June 2012 which has since come to be known as ‘Thunder Thursday’ or the Great Tyneside Storm. In just two hours, a month’s worth of rain (50mm) fell in the area, causing destruction and wide-spread flooding.
As a result, Newcastle City Council - designated as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Newcastle - has worked alongside the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water and Newcastle University. This has lead to Newcastle signing up to the Blue Green pledge which commits the City to “managing flooding in a more natural way whilst still obtaining the benefits from using green infrastructure for the benefit of the environment, our residents and visitors and the economy”.
Furthermore, the Newcastle City Council website offers advice on heavy rain and flooding in the city and how to safeguard your home in the event of a flood.
As part of the Environmental Searches, your conveyancer will arrange for a flood risk search on the area of the property you are looking to buy in Newcastle and a report 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 Newcastle?
Subsidence and ground stability issues can cause the foundations of a property to become unstable, making the home potentially unsafe and can also result in the property rapidly decreasing in value.
A map created by Geobear identifying the UK subsidence hotspots shows considerable readings of subsidence across Newcastle City Centre and the surrounding areas, including Gosforth. Previous use of the land and industries such as coal mining can impact the stability of the land, in addition to natural factors which cause the land to shift. In an area of Gosforth, a mine shaft caused a ground collapse near homes and garages, required over 65 cubic metres of reinforced concrete to repair.
The Coal Authority reported that the mine shaft, known as Coxlodge Colliery Jubilee Shaft, was operational during the 1820s, making it around 200 years old. It was recorded as being closed in 1891, but the Coal Authority’s investigations showed that the shaft was left open “to help ventilate other mine workings in the area”.
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 Newcastle?
Your search report will also note the level of Radon Gas in the area of Newcastle where the property you are looking to purchase is located. Radon Gas is created by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. This dangerous, colourless and odourless gas can cause a variety of health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers.
However, according to a heat map of Radon Gas affected areas from Public Health England, Newcastle has very low levels of Radon Gas, with readings for any significant levels of the gas being apparent in the wider area outside of the region.
Nevertheless, 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 Newcastle home.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Newcastle?
Contaminated land is land that contains substances which either are or can be harmful to humans or natural water systems and the environment. Much of today’s land contamination originates from pollution as a result of the industrial processes from the19th and 20th centuries.
As previously mentioned, one of the industries which has had an impact on the land in Newcastle is coal mining. Not only can former coal mines lead to subsidence and ground instability, but they can also contribute to the pollution of the land.
With this in mind, it is essential that you pay close attention to the findings in your search results and query anything that concerns you regarding the property. The search, organised by your conveyancer, will usually include a study of Newcastle’s historic maps, land use records and other information and documents that may indicate contamination or pollution on the land.