Environmental Search Report

Environmental Search Report: this is a property search which considers potential or actual environmental risks which might affect the area near your new home. It is one of the key searches to get when buying a home and you order it through your conveyancing solicitor. 

If you are looking to purchase and Environmental Search Report please contact our team on 0333 344 3234.

What environmental risks does an environmental search report cover?

Contamination risk
An environmental search report firstly flags up whether the property is situated on contaminated land and gives the result ‘Passed’ or ‘Failed’ as an overall assessment.

This is the most important part of the report. The assessment is made by considering the following factors, whose data is drawn from the Environment Agency and the relevant local authority:
  • Designated Contaminated Land
  • Landfill and Waste
  • Potentially Contaminative Activities
  • Known Pollution Incidents
  • Other Potential Contaminative Land Uses

Risks are considered within different radii from the site of the property, including 0-25 metres, 25-250 metres and 250-500 metres. These radii are also used for the next section, ‘Flood Findings’.

Flood Findings
This section considers data about risks of flooding and is broken down further into the report into six sections:

  • River flooding
  • Coastal Flooding
  • Surface Water Flooding
  • National Flood Risk Assessment
  • Historic Flood Events
  • Groundwater Flooding

Read more about Flood Risks in Flood Risk Report.
Environmental SearchShould there be any risks of flooding then the report says ‘Identified’ (the opposite is ‘None Identified’), explains what the risk is and whether further action should be taken.

NB If the flood findings report risks which are of concern to you, you would be well advised to buy an in-depth Flood Risk Report property search. The greater detail in this report deals with matters such as whether you would be likely to get buildings insurance on standard terms or not. Your conveyancing solicitor can advise you further in these circumstances.

Radon is a radioactive gas which is common in many parts of the UK in the ground underneath buildings. In certain areas, such as many parts of the West Country, the gas can build up to radioactive levels which are harmful to health. The gas can cause lung cancer, particularly in those who have smoked or continue to smoke cigarettes.

This part of the report flags up whether a property is in a radon affected area. It covers the same function as a Radon Search, which is often bought as a standalone product. Should the property be within 25m of a radon affected area, the report will flag the risk up as ‘Identified’ and advise further testing and how to go about this.

Ground Stability Findings
This part of the report considers whether there are any Man-made factors; or Natural Factors
Environmental Search Report

which might affect the property in terms of its stability. Factors are considered within 25 metres and within 25-250 metres of the property. Risks are flagged up as before at the start of the report as ‘Identified’.

ImportantIf this is flagged at risk then look to order a Subsidence Survey or a Subsidence Report

Other Influential Factors
This part of the report considers whether the following factors are present within either 250 metres or 250-500 metres of the property. Factors include:

  • Overhead Power Lines and Mobile Phone Masts
  • Environmental Constraints
  • Energy and Infrastructure

Any risks are flagged up at the top of the report as ‘Identified’.
The rest of the report goes into considerable detail about the findings presented, including various maps and photos. The detail considers, for example, whether any former marshes have been found or ‘historical tanks and energy facilities’.

There are many terms and conditions and further explanations in the report and your conveyancing solicitor is trained to spot whether there are any points raised which warrant further action or research.

I’m a cash purchaser, should I get an Environmental Search Report?

There is no requirement to buy an environmental search report if you are a cash buyer, but you may give yourself considerable peace of mind by doing so. It is worth considering that when you come to sell the property, the next buyer might either have to buy an environmental report or just choose to; if they find a risk factor which you did not know about, you may find your home more difficult to sell than you thought.

How long does the search take to arrive?

Once you've booked it, it normally arrives within 48 hours.

Who provides these reports?

Search companies provide the reports. They compile the data mainly from Environmental Agency and Local Authority information.


Get your Environmental Search: call 0333 344 3234 today.

Environmental Search Report and Property Searches

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