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What's New? > News & Press Releases > Local and Planning Searches


Feb 12

Local and Planning Searches

As part of the pre-exchange legal work searches are carried out on behalf of purchasers by their conveyancers.

People are often under the misapprehension that the local search will reveal every proposed development on land neighboring or adjoining the property you are buying. This is not the case. The search is only against the property you are buying.

The search will not reveal details of any planning permission granted for development or change of use of adjoining or nearby properties or land. The search will reveal major road schemes which are fixed and which are very close to the property i.e. within 200 metres but will not reveal road schemes that are only in the very early stages of conception or any proposed developments which may adjoin or be near the property.

Also the search will only reveal any entries on the Local Land Register as at the date of the search. Any entries made after the search has been issued will not be revealed.

Due to the absence of the information revealed by the local search, it is possible and advisable to make additional checks. If you are at all concerned about any possible development surrounding your property, we would strongly advise you to attend the planning office and enquire from them as to whether there are any current planning applications for development or extensions of immediate adjoining properties. You should also consider asking to see the structure and/or local plans to see if any decisions have been made as to future proposals being considered for any neighbouring land. Under statutory procedures local authorities, including County Councils, have to prepare structure plans and local plans. These plans will identify future proposals for land use in an area and they might highlight potential future development proposals on land adjoining your property.

You must be aware however that viewing of the matters mentioned above, is not conclusive evidence of the likelihood or absence of any future developments. The planning office will of course act in good faith as to items which have been decided upon only at the day you view the plans. You must also remember however that plans for development may not have reached the drawing board or may not, at the stage you carry out your enquiry, have been passed.

We again emphasise that nothing in the local search conclusively says whether or not any open land adjacent to or near the property you are buying will or will not be developed. There is therefore always the risk that ultimately it will fall subject to development.

For a fee of around 30 we can carry out a further planning search with an independent company which will reveal details of planning proposals in the vicinity of the property.

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.