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The Ground Report

A look at the Ground Report and why everyone buying a home should get one.

Video Transcript:

"Hi, it's Dan here from Property Searches Direct I do hope this finds you well.

Today I'm just going to talk about the ground report that we offer and give you a little bit of an insight as to what they're all about and why you might find one of interest when looking to buy a property.

They are all about ground risk. Not much is known or not much is told to you about what lies beneath or what lies in the vicinity of a property and the ground report helps you to understand those sorts of risks.

So the risks that are covered are the Con29m which is the traditional coal report and coal mining. Then there's some natural perils, there's soil type, in other words things like clay subsidence if a property is on clay and it'll give you advice as to what you can do with that, whether radon is detected or whether it's in a radon area, Coastal hazards, so really important if you're buying a property near the coast like on a cliff line and you really do need to understand how quickly that cliff is eroding to know whether in 10 years time that property will still actually exist, so that's a really good reason to be getting one. Planned mineral extraction and how that might affect your property as well as oil and gas exploration and whether you're in an area that could be affected by things like fracking that might be in the proximity.

So when you're buying a property in the Southeast... now I went to a presentation many years ago when we were talking about ground reports and the importance of them, I was shown an image of the Southeast of England. Traditionally this is an area where conveyancers do not ask for a mining report, because when people think about mining they think of coal and well, how many coal pits are there in the southeast of England? You know think about Brighton or you think about Reading or you think of Seven Oaks or wherever it may be, you don't think of coal. But the reality is that mineral extraction isn't just about coal. It's Clay and chalk and iron and sandstone and Kentish Ragstone and Fuller's earth and there's many many other sorts of mineral extractions that can have an effect on properties in those areas.

So I'm going to put a graphic up on the screen now it's probably going to take over and you'll see on there all the incidents since 1985, that have happened in the southeast of England. So you'll see 2 000 recorded chalk mines, 3 000 recorded clay pits, 40 coal shafts, 500 iron mines or more than 500 iron mines, 314 Sandstone mines, 30 Kentish Ragstone mines, 43 Fuller's earth mines, 11 000 reports of mining related subsidence since 1985. and at the time that this was produced there was really no conveyancer or no one looking at getting mining searches undertaken on the conveyance of properties, so anyone buying a property in this area was literally buying it blind.

Now I've got maps for all areas of the country and it sort of got me thinking I was like well what on Earth was this about? The reality was that when houses were being built so if you're buying a beautiful old house in a lovely village the infrastructure all the bricks and the mortar and all the things that built those properties were not necessarily brought in from hundreds of miles away, they were actually extracted those minerals were extracted from the immediate area, so there would have been a chalk pit there would have been a clay extraction there would have been a brickworks there would have been all these things going on that actually built the villages and the towns in the areas they were.

So of course as we're now building new homes on what appear to be brown field sites; now a brown field site is something that hasn't been built on for a significant amount of time if at all and there are reasons for it or green field sites that haven't been touched and they are called mucky land, but new home developers are now looking at these sites and building on them and there can be perils beneath them you know, they could literally be building over a Clay Pit or a Chalk extraction.

I won't go into a massive amount of detail but if you can imagine a chalk extraction looks like a bottle cut into the ground, so they dig a shaft and they extract a whole load of chalk and once it's extracted they then capped it off with wood and filled it in above with soil. Now that's been left for decades and decades and almost, well actually really forgotten about, and then of course they are building on top of those and that wood all this while is literally slowly rotting and eventually it caves in and you see all the soil above it, including the properties and roads literally falling into that cavity, which is effectively the cause of a sinkhole.

So it's important that if you are buying a even a new build or if you're buying any property that you look at getting a ground report so that you clearly understand whether it's in an area where there is significant risk.

The nice thing is the guys that produce these reports are geologists and they're looking at really great data in terms of historic mapping and understanding where these mine shafts are historically and whether they are you know causing a challenge to any property so really important that you get these ground reports.

The other thing to bear in mind I talked about clay and subsidence, so if you're in an area where if you get one of these reports and it's saying that Clay is a challenge then of course you need to start asking your surveyor to look at historic movement in the property and has it been subjected to any sort of subsidence or heave.

So I guess the ground report will also suggest to you as to whether there are things to be aware of, not necessarily massive flags, but things you just need to consider to make sure that you're not buying into a property that could have underlying challenges.

Anyway, lots of useful information in there so go onto our website by all means go and have a look at the ground report, you'll see that we've got some sample reports you can download, there's some product cards that will give you some information about the reports. The ground report is a fantastic piece of information to get if you are buying a property, particularly again pertinent if you're buying a property near a coastline when you're looking at Coastal erosion and other bits and pieces. But really fascinating, I wouldn't buy a property without one, so go and have a look and by all means order yours today at

As ever, thanks for watching, speak again soon."


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