What is a Local Authority Search?

Street view of the Ned and Bank of England

What is a Local Authority Search? What’s included in a local authority search?

There are two parts to a local authority search – a LLC1 and a CON29.

The LLC1 – Local Land Charge Register search – covers any charges or restrictions relating to land or property. These can include whether the property is:

  • a listed building
  • located in a conservation area
  • subject to a tree preservation order
  • in need of an improvement or renovation grant
  • or situated in a smoke control zone

The form also covers planning agreements and conditional planning permissions and building controls issues.

The second part of the search, the CON29, supplies information relating to public highways, proposals for new roads, rail schemes that could affect the property, as well as outstanding statutory notices, breaches of planning or building regulations or the existence of a compulsory purchase order. Environmental factors, such as whether the house stands on contaminated land or in a Radon gas affected area are also covered although often with very limited information.

What isn’t included in a local authority search?

There are a number of additional reports that are not covered by the standard local authority search and are therefore subject to extra fees. The need for such searches will be determined by your conveyancing solicitor or mortgage lender on a case-by-case basis (although some are considered essential by certain lenders).

These include:

The CON29 (O) optional form which deals with applications on roads proposed by private bodies, completion notices, land maintenance notices and environmental and pollution notices

Environmental searches (to determine a risk of flooding for example, as well as the proximity of any waste sites or potentially contaminated sites)

Water authority searches (which show any public sewers within the boundaries of the property which could impact upon future building or development)

It’s worth noting the additional searches, such as mining searches, flood searches and energy and infrastructure searches are determined by the locality of the property, rather than just the conveyancer or lender. For example, a mining search may be required if the property is in a mining area (rather than because the conveyancer or lender insist one is done in every case).