There are a large number of companies which offer a Local Authority Search service, as well as your own District or Borough Council. These are known collectively as personal search companies (PSCs) and they produce personal searches (see below). However, all Local Authority Search products have one thing in common – they must obtain their information from the local authoritative source (your local council).
A search is comprised of up to four parts. A minimum requirement is the form LLC1, which will provide a list of all of the relevant entries in the Local Land Charges Register, and the Con29 Required, usually referred to as the Con29R. This will provide information on, amongst other things, details on planning applications relevant to the property (whether granted or refused), building control history, any enforcement action, restrictions on permitted development, nearby road schemes, contaminated land and radon gas; in all a total of 13 subject areas. These two elements together are often referred to as a ‘basic’ or ‘standard’ search.
You can also ask additional optional questions relating to public rights of way, areas of outstanding natural beauty, pipeline, pollution notices, or town and village greens. These questions (18 in all) are contained on the Con29 Optional form, usually referred to as the Con29O.
Further to these questions, you can also ask anything which you think may be useful to know about, such as whether there are any planning permissions on adjacent land. These questions, in common with the optional enquiries mentioned above, will be at additional cost.
There are two different types of product available to you:
• The official Local Authority Search, or
• The Regulated search.