It is important to have a search carried out when buying a property as it is designed to protect prospective purchasers by informing them of, for instance, plans to build a new road in the vicinity, whether the highway fronting the property is public or privately maintained, to let them know about planning permissions / conditions, tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, or housing grants etc, which may affect the property to be purchased.
Each search involves research in respect of town planning, statutory orders, highways, housing and environmental health matters and is sent to specialist staff in each council service area to compile the replies. When the Land Charges officers receive the required information, the replies are collated and completed searches are usually returned to applicants in 3/4 working days.
Additional enquiry numbers 17-36 on Part II of the Land Charges Form Con29A relate to matters such as road schemes, public footpaths, planning and environmental matters. These enquiries are also dispatched to the relevant specialist for their comments. The council no longer reply to drainage enquiries and, therefore, a separate search needs to be sent to Thames Water. The applicant's solicitor will be aware of this service.
Please note the information given in a search relates to the property the subject of the search and not other properties in the vicinity of the property