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This report includes all past, present and future coal mining activities, as well as gas, hazards and if applicable, insurance and an information section from the Cheshire Brine Compensation District.

Coal Mining Search

(Last Updated: 29/11/2023)
6 min read
Key Takeaways
  • When buying a house, you need to check if you're located in a coal mining area. See our coal mining map below if you're not sure this applies to you.
  • Your lender might make this search mandatory, as coal mining activity can cause subsidence. This puts your property, and therefore the lender's investment at risk.
  • A coal mining search will reveal all past, present and possible coal mining activity in the surrounding areas of your property, as well as other possible hazards. You can read an example report below.
  • You can order this report for £66 INC VAT. The turnaround time is 2 working hours*.

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What is a coal mining search?

A mining survey, often called a Coal & Brine Report or Coal Authority Report, is an additional survey required in certain areas of England and Wales where there was mining. One of the greatest risks would be the effect of the mining on the ground under a property that could lead to or have caused subsidence.

If your solicitor is aware the property you are buying is located in a mining risk area, they will require you to book a coal authority search. If you are buying with a mortgage, the lender can make this a condition of granting it to you. Cash buyers can choose not to get this report since they are not bound by a lender's requirements.

What does a coal search reveal?

The report considers:

  • Underground coal mining
  • Mine entries
  • Coal mining geology
  • Opencast coal mining
  • Coal mining subsidence
  • Mine gas
  • Hazards
  • Insurance Certificate & Information from the Cheshire Brine Compensation District (if applicable)
Coal Mining Search Report

For mining activities, the report lists past, present and any planned future activities. The information about future activities is more of an opinion, but still usefully notes whether the area your property is located in might be mined in the future.

The Coal Mining Subsidence section of the coal authority search notes whether there has been any claim for damages from any property due to mining-related subsidence within 50m of your property. Mine gas tells you whether there has been any noted emission of mine gases and the hazards section notes whether the property has been subject to any recorded remedial work.

Does the vendor pay for a mining report?

Usually, it is the buyer who orders and pays for the conveyancing searches. Alternatively, if the vendor was worried about their house being built in an area with coal mining activity, they might have ordered the search beforehand. In this case, they can provide you with a copy of the results.

How do you check if a property is in a coal mining area?

For brine mining, the main affected county is Cheshire. 'Wych' actually means Brine Town and can be observed as being part of the following towns' names, all of which are in Cheshire - Northwich, Middlewich and Nantwich. In this region, brine subsidence is very common, so a Cheshire Salt Search is requested when buying a house there. You will rarely need both a Coal Mining and a Cheshire Salt Search.

Due to subsidence caused by brine mining, the Cheshire Brine Compensation Board was founded in 1952 to provide compensation, however, at present, a building survey must prove the damages.

Compensation should then be available for you, but if the previous owners of the house have been awarded this before and failed to carry out the necessary repairs, any other future claims might be rejected. We can help with both your purchase and your building survey.

The below coal mining map highlights the areas most affected by coal mining. Generally, the largest areas cover Manchester, Liverpool, as well as Sheffield, Wakefield and Bradford. We can, however, help with your purchase all throughout England and Wales.


How to make a coal claim

If you believe your property has suffered damages, either from subsidence or by simply being located near a mine, you can claim compensation. This can be done either by filing a claim with the mine owner, or with The Coal Authority. There are certain steps you must take.

    Get a Coal Mining Report
    This report is written by analysing all activities which can affect your property, whether these are ongoing, in the past or planned for the future. Once you have written confirmation that the damages have been caused by coal mining, you can move on to the next step.
    Claim compensation by filling in a damage notice form.
    Send the form to the relevant party - The Coal Authority in this case

If your claim is successful, you will either be granted financial compensation, or the damages will be fixed for you. However, if your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.

Before worrying about the claim result, you should make sure your property is at risk because of coal mining.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written 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.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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