By Philippa Rudd, a partner of solicitors Cozens-Hardy in Norwich
My house is in an urban area and I do not know the neighbourhood. What extra searches would you recommend my solicitor conduct?
An Environmental Search may be advisable to ascertain whether the property you are intending to purchase may potentially be affected by factors such as flooding, subsidence or landslip. The search provides information on these factors together with information regarding air quality, landfill sites, waste sites or contaminated sites near the property.
A ‘Plan Search’ will reveal planning applications in a certain radius of the property. It will reveal:
- Aerial photography of site and surrounding area
- Details of planning applications since 1997
- A list of the latest local plan policies that could affect the vicinity
- School performance indicators
- Details of footpaths and rights of way
But will it tell me what could happen in the future in my area?
The search gives a description of adopted and deposit land use policies to a radius of 250m. This is vital because it means that not only will you be informed about applications that have already been made, you will also have a good idea of developments that could be allowed by the local authority in the future.
This means that information which could have a major impact on the enjoyment and value of a home is revealed. If, for example, there are plans to construct a new local nightclub, causing late night noise and disturbance, or a supermarket ruining the current view from your property, you would know about it before exchange.
Philippa Rudd is on 01603 625231