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Environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important when considering the purchase of a property, either to live in or as an investment for renovation or letting.
Our industrial heritage and the drive to build on brown field sites has meant that increasing numbers of properties have been built on or near land that is deemed to be contaminated. This can affect the value of the property involved, could lead to health issues and in some cases could even result in remediation or “clear up” notices being served on the owners of the property. Similar issues can arise if the property is near a waste disposal site, a bulk storage fuel facility of high voltage electric cables.
There can be an issue with ground stability where properties are near to quarries, or other historical workings, or where properties can be affected by ground shrinkage or ground swelling.
Just because a property is not near a river or watercourse, it does not mean that flooding may not be an issue. Flooding can be from a variety of sources, including surface water flooding. It can be difficult to obtain household insurance on a property that has a history of flooding, especially if the government intervention in securing insurance for properties deemed to be vulnerable to flooding recedes. This type of problem with insurance can effectively render a property unsaleable.
The second phase of the High Speed Rail Link is set to cut through vast swathes of the Midlands and the North. The property that you are intending to buy may be in an area which is later subject to compulsory purchase to allow the rail link to be built. Alternatively, it may be close enough to the proposed line to suffer from noise or other disturbance.
Certain areas of the country have different considerations, such as tin mining, clay excavation, radon gas, mining and brine excavation and even limestone mining.
We offer all of our clients who are purchasing a property the opportunity of submitting environmental searches. We also offer advice regarding which searches are the most appropriate to the property.
Our advice does not end with the search result. For example, if a contaminated land search fails, we can make enquiries of the sellers and other parties to obtain information to assist in making a decision on whether to proceed with or ultimately withdraw from the transaction, or if appropriate, to consider paying for environmental insurance.