How Much Are Conveyancing Searches in Southampton?
When conducting the necessary conveyancing searches, your conveyancer will request a number of Local Authority searches from Southampton City Council. The cost of these searches can currently be found on the council website as it is regularly updated to match any amended Local Authority Search costs and fees. The latest change was implemented on April 1st 2020.
Due to the increased risk of flooding throughout the city, Southampton City Council has modified its website to highlight the most important sections of the searches to help you uncover any potential risks to your property. It states that CON29R and CON29O are most vital for uncovering any risk of floods, drainage issues and surface water flooding.
The cost of each search has been provided below, including VAT, but it’s important to check the local authority website before purchasing a property to ensure all costs are up-to-date. Some conveyancers may offer special package-deals regarding their conveyancing searches, affecting the overall cost. There will also be added administration fees if you require copies of the documents.
£16.50 inc VAT
This includes details of any restrictions or prohibitions on the land/property and any financial charges held against it. It is exempt from VAT.
£60.00 inc VAT
This report includes approximately 60 enquiries. It provides vital information such as recent statutory notices, Compulsory Purchase Orders and any building or road proposals. Drainage matters are also included with information about the property’s Sustainable Drainage System. It also discusses flood and coastal erosion risk management.
£13.20 inc VAT
This will contain information on flood defence and land drainage consents. It will also provide information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
Standard Search (LLC1 and Con29R)
£76.50 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29R.
What Are the Flood Risks in Southampton?
Due to numerous rivers and the 35km of coastline, Southampton holds a high risk of flooding. The Southampton City Council website even states that because of coastlines such as Redbridge, St Denys and Woodmill, Southampton has a high danger of tidal flooding with almost 10% of the city being identified as at risk.
According to the UK Flood Risk Map, Southampton’s biggest cause of flooding comes from nearby rivers and seas, supporting the city council’s warnings. If you’re interested in houses on the coastline, your need for a flood risk report is increased.
Streets like Janaway Gardens and Priory Road are particularly prone to regular flood warnings due to their proximity to the River Itchen. The risk of flooding is also increased if the property is located near Tanners Brook, Holly Brook, Rolles Brook, Monks Brook and Blighmont Crescent Stream.
However, another issue that causes flooding in Southampton is surface water. The urban nature of the city means Southampton is particularly vulnerable to surface water flooding. This can be difficult to manage and often occurs during heavy rainfall.
There is currently an extensive drainage network within the city but there is still a risk of surface water flooding in more densely-packed areas. Heavy rainfall can overwhelm the drainage network so it’s important to research any previous flooding in the area. This can be done by your conveyancer through the Environmental Search.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Southampton?
As part of the Environmental Search, your conveyancer will also arrange for a ground stability search for both the land the property is located on and the surrounding areas. This search will highlight any risk of subsidence, landslides and other forms of instability.
As Southampton is a bustling and densely-packed city, the risk of subsidence will increase. Geobear’s UK Subsidence Map supports this, showing Southampton as at moderate risk of subsidence with areas closer to the main city being shown as moderate/high risk.
Another issue that will increase Southampton’s risk of subsidence is the large amount of clay soil that has been used as the foundation for properties. The England and Wales Clay Hazards Map depicts Southampton as a Hazard Level D, meaning the soil will likely be prone to shrinking and swelling and will be at risk of moving under any added pressure.
Rest assured, the GeoSure UK Landslide Map shows Southampton to be an area with a ‘low’ risk of potential and recorded landslides. However, if you’re purchasing a property close to the coast, the risk of a landslide occurring is increased to ‘moderate’, making the importance of an Environmental Search higher.
- 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 Southampton?
As part of the Local Authority Search, the CON29 document will likely highlight any potential risks from local radon gas in the property’s area. Radon is a colourless and odourless gas that is formed by the radioactive decay of small amounts of natural uranium that occurs in all rocks and soils.
According to the UK Radon Map, the majority of Southampton does not contain high levels of radon gas. Many of its streets have the average level of emissions which should not be seen as a major cause for concern amongst homeowners.
Although Southampton does not have extreme levels of radon emissions, it’s important to note that streets such as Exmoor Road and Clovelly Road are in a raised radon area. This means that these streets have a maximum radon potential of 1%-3% and a higher chance of experiencing ground radon emissions than average.
If you’re concerned the property you’re viewing has an increased probability of experiencing radon gas, then you should discuss the search results with your conveyancer and research how the levels of gas being displayed could affect your future health.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Southampton?
Due to its history as a major UK port, Southampton has seen a lot of industrial growth throughout the years which has contributed to both its success but also the strain on its land. Southampton has previously seen issues with contaminated land that had to be quickly remedied by Southampton City Council, affecting the properties within it.
Contaminated land is any land that has been recognised by its local authority as containing substances or pollution that could cause significant harm to people, properties or protected species. You can view previous examples of this within Southampton through the local council’s Contaminated Land Register.
If you’re concerned the property you’re viewing is within or near contaminated land, then the Environmental Search is vital for you as a buyer. You should discuss the results with your conveyancer and talk to the local council to see if there are any plans for remedying the problem.
To ensure the quality of land is acceptable for residents and visitors, Southampton City Council has a thorough Southampton Land Quality Strategy that will be carried out between 2018-2023. The area is also supported by The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Contaminated Land Liaison Group who provides support to officers involved in regulating land. They also provide education on contaminated land and any existing and emerging policy, legislative and technical issues connected to it.