Aerial view of a town in Cheshire. Cheshire Salt Search explained by SAM Conveyancing
Are you buying a house in Cheshire?
If your property is located in a brine affected area, it can be at serious risk of subsidence.

Order a Cheshire Salt Search for a fixed fee of £79 INC VAT. We aim to deliver your report in 1 working day.

Cheshire Salt Search

(Last Updated: 12/10/2023)
5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • The Cheshire region is famous for its brine mining activity, but in time, this has led to ground shifting and an increased risk of subsidence for properties in the area.
  • The Cheshire Brine Compensation Board aims to help homeowners, under the 1952 Act, take the necessary steps to repair any subsidence damages to their properties.
  • Currently, properties which come under the Compensation Board District must be investigated through a Cheshire Salt Search, to assess if there are any potential risks.

Similar to coal mining, brine affected areas are also at risk of subsidence. This can lead to damage to your property's foundation, due to the ground shifting underneath it. In the past, brine mining involved the pumping of water inside a mine, which led to the salt being dissolved. The entire mixture was then flushed out and the salt was subsequently extracted. In time, this led to mines collapsing and subsidence risks increasing in the area.

For brine mining, the most affected area is Cheshire. The Winsford salt mine, in particular, is the largest and oldest salt mine in the UK.

What is a Cheshire Salt Search?

A Cheshire Salt Search identifies if your property is located within an area that is or has been affected by brine mining.

Similar to coal mining, evidence of past, accepted compensation claims can invalidate any other future ones, as the Compensation Board will no longer be liable. This report highlights if there is any record of such claims, as well as if your property is currently covered, should it ever be damaged by subsidence in the future.

  • Is the property located in the Compensation District or a Consultation Area?
  • Are there any records of notices of damage?
  • Has any compensation been awarded?
  • Is there future claim cover available?
  • Are there any historic brine wells and shafts located near the property?
  • Historical and active salt mining activity
  • Is the property located within the GS7 planning policy area?

Cheshire Salt Search from SAM Conveyancing

  • Compensation Board District - properties which fall under this are higher risk and entitled to compensation. Eastern and Western Cheshire, Chester, Trafford and Warrington.
  • Consultation Area - the CBD must be consulted for any planning and building control applications for properties in these areas. This is due to high subsidence risk caused by the Cheshire salt mines.
  • Notice of damage - when making a claim, you must first register a notice of damage. If accepted, the Board will send a surveyor to assess your property so that a decision can be made.
  • GS7 Planning Policy - this policy has been introduced in high-risk, brine affected areas, to prevent any type of development from taking place.
Check the Cheshire Compensation District map - here.

Do I need a Cheshire Brine search?

The Law Society makes the Cheshire Salt Search a requirement for any property purchase or development in the Cheshire Brine Compensation District. That is because of historical and active salt mining in the area, as well as all the introduction of policies regarding the Consultation Areas or the GS7 Planning Policy.

As a homeowner, if the Cheshire Salt Search reveals that your property is affected, you might be entitled to compensation from the Cheshire Brine Compensation Board. You can have the repair work reimbursed, or in more serious instances, you might be offered a commutation payment.

The search reveals if any payments have been settled in the past, which would prevent you from being able to claim. In this case, the Board would have no liability to remedy the damages to your property, unless the property has since been demolished and your current home has been built in its place. In this case, you might still be able to submit a notice of damage.

Repair Works

Following the receipt of your notice of damage, the Cheshire Compensation Board will task a competent surveyor with the assessment of your property. A final decision will be based on their investigation.

If the Board decides to support the repair works, you can appoint your own contractor and the costs will be reimbursed upon inspection and satisfactory completion.

Commutation Claim

The damages to your property may be too significant for remediation. In some instances, there might even be evidence that the subsidence risk caused by the Cheshire salt mines is recurring. The Board can then offer a "commutation" payment for the property, a one-off payment, usually equivalent to the market value of the property. As mentioned above, the Board will hold no future liability for your property.

Do they still mine salt in Cheshire?

Some Cheshire salt mines are still active and this report aims to identify if your property is located in their near vicinity, as this could pose a serious threat to its structural integrity. The search is mandatory, as long as you are buying in the Compensation District. Our fixed cost for this is £79 INC VAT and we aim to deliver your report in 1 working day

Frequently Asked Questions
Laura Cristian - Digital Marketing Assistant - Meet the team - SAM Conveyancing
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Laura has a talent for data analysis and fact-finding. She is an advertising graduate with a broad range of skills in the web marketing field within conveyancing sector. She works closely with our panel of solicitors and surveyors to understand our clients' needs and challenges and to write the most valuable content for you.
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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