Whilst the Local Authority Search which is carried out by your solicitor will reveal any planning history in respect of the property that you are buying (see our recent blog), what it does not reveal are any planning applications that have been submitted in respect of any other property (and sometimes in relation to leasehold properties this can mean within the block that you are buying).
The impact of new planning proposals in the vicinity of a property can be substantial. So how do you find out if there are plans for the local area.
There are three main ways:
- Investigate the local area. Often you will find, if an application has been made there will be notices fixed to lampposts to advise of the application.
- Check the Local Authority’s record which will have the most up to date information on all planning applications submitted or decided. These documents are documents of public record and you are entitled to inspect them (although you may need to make an appointment to do so).
- Ask your lawyer to carry out an additional search known as a Plansearch. The Plansearch report contains important and useful information about all planning activities in the area around a property. It details potential changes to the neighbourhood to help prospective homeowners make the right decision about their property purchase. Having the information up front ensures there are no nasty surprises such as a view ruined by a new development which would lower the property’s value and reduce the prospective homeowner’s potential enjoyment of their investment. If there is a proposal for a new nightclub or supermarket in the area Plansearch will make sure you know about it before the contracts are exchanged.
For further information about the searches available to you or conveyancing in general, why not contact one of Alexander JLO’s expert property team.