Land charges and searches

Service information

Improvements to the Land charges service

Work started in early November 2016 to modernise and improve our Land charges service by transferring records into digital format and updating our computer systems.

This will result in a more efficient service and help people to access to our information more easily.

The process will take several months and normal service may sometimes be delayed or disrupted. Every effort will be made to keep any disruption to a minimum and updates will be published here as work progresses. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please email planning@blackburn.gov.uk with any queries.

Buying or selling a property is one of the biggest financial transactions you will make in your life. Therefore it is essential you get it right.

The Council holds a register of all relevant information about your property that is updated daily.

It can be searched in two different ways: local authority search and personal search.

Local authority search

A local authority land charges search forms part of the conveyancing process when you buy or sell property or land. It can be carried out on behalf of people selling or buying land or property by:

  • a solicitor;
  • a licensed conveyancer or;
  • private search company.

Please see the current land charges fees information.

Find out more about local authority searches on wikipedia

It provides important information about the property you are intending to purchase e.g. planning permission, public footpaths, tree preservation orders etc.

A full local search consists of form LLC1, an official request for a search of the local land charges register. This is submitted by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, their agents or member of the public.

The second part is known as the CON29 enquiries of local authority.

The form contains questions designed to provide intending purchasers with information about the property to be purchased.

The enquiries fall broadly into three categories:

  1. Planning-enquiries relating to the control of development
  2. Highways- enquiries relating to highways, traffic schemes, railways etc
  3. Environmental Health,-such as contaminated land and noise abatement

The enquirer also has an opportunity to ask the solicitor or legal advisor any additional questions they consider appropriate.

Personal searches

Personal search companies can also carry out searches. These are private companies who visit the local authority and are able to inspect various public registers and apply for the relevant information to answer the CON29 questions.

A personal search of the local land charges register can be carried out by visiting your local authority local land charges department.

There is no charge for a personal search.

Appointments are available between 2pm-4pm Monday-Friday.

There is a limit of six addresses per visit.

This appointment covers a visit to the planning department to inspect the public registers and afterwards a visit to the local land charges section to inspect the local land charges register.

The highways public register is also available for inspection at the reception desk in the town hall on arrival for your appointment.

Please contact us to arrange an appointment.

A search of the register will reveal

  • planning permissions;
  • conservation areas;
  • listed buildings;
  • improvement grants;
  • financial charges;
  • any other land charges registered against the property you are intending to purchase.

Other public registers held by the local authority can also be inspected.

Access and charging - CON29 data April 2010

Access to public registers is available by making an appointment through the land charges section, 01254 585242.

There is no public access to the remaining CON29 data, the Council therefore offers the following choices.

  1. Some of our information is available to view free of charge (public registers) after an appointment to view has been made. If your information falls into this category you will be informed and we will invite you to make an appointment.
  2. To get a copy of the information to you quickly we will search and provide the data to you, however we would need to charge for such a rapid service which involves staff in examining information and selecting the precise information needed for your search. Such requests are known as 'Con 29' requests which you may already be familiar with. If the information you requested is under this regime please complete the application form below.
  3. We can deal with your request under the Environmental information regulations. If you chose this option it will take a little longer to complete the request as we will forward all the details you request without any staff involvement. Photocopying all the necessary documents may take longer than if we deal with the request under option 2, but in any case it will take no longer than 20 working days. If you chose this option you will need to let us know but do not need to complete any further form. Please see the disclaimer below.

How to make an Environmental information request.

Disclaimer

Until such time as a decision is reached by central government on Local Authorities rights to charge for the provision of planning details / land searches information. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will continue to maintain accounts in respect of any information requested. If you chose option two then you will be charged immediately for the information. If you chose option three then an account will be opened and the Council reserves the right to impose the charge should the legislation clarify this as the lawful option.

Requests for CON29 information should be forwarded to Local land charges section. Please see our contact details.

Replies will be produced and returned by post as soon as possible.

National land information service

Blackburn with Darwen borough council are currently achieving Level 2 connectivity to the NLIS Hub which means we can receive transactions electronically and return them completed through the post.

NLIS is a successful public/private partnership, backed by the government providing the only official local authority electronic searches to solicitors across the country. Solicitors are attracted to the numerous benefits of NLIS such as being able to track searches online, accurate property identification and having a direct debit to pay fees, thus eliminating much administration.

For more information about the NLIS service see the contact details below:

Tel: 020 7324 2400 Email: info@nlis-hub.co.uk.

For more information on the NLIS project visit www.nlis.org.uk

So remember - take advantage of the NLIS Licensed Channel Network for your next land and property search. Contact one of them today:

Either:

Searchflow: www.searchflow.co.uk email: info@searchflow.co.uk 0845 2507040

or

Thames Water www.twpropertyinsight.co.uk email: searches@thameswater.co.uk 0118 925 1504

Our promise to you

We understand the importance of being accessible to you in order to deal with your urgent queries. You can now contact via email, telephone, fax or post.

Whatever your preferred method of contact we promise to offer a friendly, professional and efficient response from all our departments.

We are happy to deal with your queries and welcome your suggestions on how to make our service easier for you.

Submitting your search

In order to improve our service and reduce the possibility of delays please submit the following:

  • Provide two location plans with the property clearly edged in red;
  • Provide two copies of the CON29R and two copies of the LLC1 forms;
  • Provide two copies of the CON29O enquiry forms where appropriate;
  • Refrain from the use of staples;
  • Provide a full postal address with any plot numbers where possible.

Turnaround time

Our turnaround time at present is 5-10 working days.

Search progress

Please contact the local land charges section directly to enquire about the progress of your search 01254 585242 or email landcharges@blackburn.gov.uk

Document exchange (DX)

We use first class post rather than DX to return your searches. However we are able to receive search applications electronically using the NLIS website www.nlis.org.uk

Drainage & water searches

This search is carried out by United Utilities, Map Services, Stephens Way, Goose Green Lane, Wigan WN3 6PJ, contact 0870 7510101

Other fees

  • Copy planning consents £19.85
  • Copy Sec. 106 Agreements £39.69
  • Copy Tree Preservation Orders £49.61

Commons register search

The common land and village green search is now a question on the CON29O form (Q.22) and should be sent to us at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

The fee can be found on the current list of fees.

The common land and town and village green register is maintained by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and is open for inspection.

Land ownership information

No, this department holds no information regarding land ownership. The property management section at Capita Symonds, Preston New Road, Blackburn will be able to tell you whether the land is owned by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Tel 01254 585242.

For other land, information is held at the land registry at Lytham St. Annes, enquiry contact number 01772 836700.

Property boundary information

We hold no information regarding boundaries. They are a complex subject in themselves. The starting place for this information is the deeds of the property. You may need to employ the services of a legally qualified person or qualified surveyor.

Contact details

Mail Local land charges office, Town Hall, King William Street, Blackburn. BB1 7DY
Phone Number(s) 01254 585242
Fax Number(s) 01254 664481
E-mail landcharges@blackburn.gov.uk
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