Historically, the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board (the Board) has provided search enquiries to meet the requirements of professionals involved in property transactions and development within the Compensation District. These searches include details of past damage claims affecting properties (including land) and identification as to whether the property lies within a statutory consultation area with regard to foundation designs. A more significant aspect of the past claims is to report on whether the property has been subjected to a “commutation payment” whereby payments were made in lieu of carrying out repairs and rights of redress for future damage were often extinguished.
Since 23 October 2006, the brine search has been incorporated into the Law Society approved CON 29M mining search, providing a combined coal and brine search report. The search is mandatory for all property transactions within the Compensation District .
The search will indicate:
- Whether the property is situated within the Compensation District;
- Whether the property is within a Consultation Area prescribed by the Cheshire Brine Board under the provisions of section 38(1) of the 1952 Act;
- Whether a Notice of Damage has been filed in respect of the property and, if so, whether the claim was accepted and, if so, how the claim was discharged;
- Whether the claims in respect of the property have been commuted by a once and for all payment of compensation;
- Whether the compensation provisions of the 1952 and 1964 Acts would apply should the property be affected at some future date by subsidence due to brine pumping.
The Board and the Coal Authority worked with the Law Society to implement the required changes to the CON 29M enquiry form, Directory and Guidance, the Conveyancing Handbook and other best practice guidance and advice. A fully revised and updated Coal Mining and Brine Subsidence Claim Searches guide, containing the Law Society’s guidance and the Coal Authority’s advice and user guide to help customers order the search and understand the results, is available. The guide includes an updated Directory of Places in England and Wales showing the areas where a CON 29M is required, and a copy of the new form CON 29M (2006).
The Coal Authority have extended their CON 29M screening area to include the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation District which enables customers to ensure that they do not order searches unnecessarily. Whether a CON 29M search needs to be made can be quickly established by using the updated published directory, online gazetteer or using the Coal Authority’s On-Line Screening Service which provides immediate on-line confirmation on entering a property address as to whether a CON 29M 2006 search is required or not for both coal and brine.
A search may be ordered from here .