Groundsure is proud to be the sole provider of the Cheshire Salt Search report in partnership with the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board


The Cheshire Salt Search report is a Law Society requirement on subsidence risk due to brine extraction in Cheshire. Much of Cheshire is at increased risk of subsidence due to the presence of brine and previous mining practices, and the extent of this risk is not always identifiable by proximity to mines. In addition, previous compensation payouts mean that some properties are not eligible for compensation in the event of damage caused. The report provides information on how these matters affect a given property in Cheshire. It is necessary to obtain it before purchasing a property or conducting development work in the county.

Individual CON29M (part of our Enviro All-in-One report) and Cheshire Salt Search reports are rarely required for the same property. The Cheshire Brine Compensation District and coalfield areas are distinctly separate, apart from a very small overlap area.

Customers purchasing a Cheshire Salt Search report in the Cheshire Brine Compensation District will not need to purchase a CON29M report unless they are located in this salt/coal overlap area. The overlap area is approximately 18.2km² and only holds approximately 259 postcodes, meaning that the number of potential transactions in this region is extremely small:

 


Why is the report needed?

  • Brine deposits and pumping over many years has caused properties to be at risk of subsidence in Cheshire, so those buying or developing property need to know if this affects them
  • The most significant subsidence can be far away from the actual sites of the mines, meaning it is not possible to determine where the risk will be directly from the location of mines
  • Some properties have been subject to a “commutation payment”, where payments were made in lieu of carrying out repairs, meaning future owners of the property are not able to claim for damage
  • The report is required when purchasing property in Cheshire, due to the effects of the above.

Key features of the report

  • Makes clear whether the property would be eligible for compensation under the 1952 and 1964 Acts if it is affected by brine pumping related subsidence in the future
  • Clarifies whether a property is in the Compensation District, and hence in an area considered at increased risk of subsidence but potentially eligible for compensation
  • Explains whether a property is situated in a Consultation Area, meaning it could be difficult to gain planning permission for development, or structural precautions may need to be taken
  • Informs whether a Notice of Damage has been filed and accepted for the property, meaning it is already deemed to have been damaged by ground instability caused by brine pumping
  • Explains whether a property is situated in a Consultation Area, meaning structural precautions or remedial measures may need to be taken following consultation with the Brine Board.
  • Informs whether a Notice of Damage has been filed and accepted for the property, meaning it is already deemed to have been damaged by ground instability caused by brine pumping
  • Checks if the property has been subject at any time to a “commutation payment”, meaning it would be eligible for no further compensation in the event of damage. However, if the commuted building has since been demolished and replaced with further building, that building may be potentially eligible for compensation.
  • Clarifies whether a property is in an area underlain by a historical salt mine, meaning it is in an area susceptible to subsidence.
  • Informs whether the property is within an area designated to be within the GS7 Planning Policy Boundary. The GS7 planning policy ensures that no development takes place within the area covered by the policy until such time that the site is rendered fit for development and mitigated against the serious subsidence risk potentially associated with abandoned rock salt mines in Northwich.
  • Checks whether the property is within 20m of a known historical well or shaft.
  • Informs whether the property is within 200m of a planning consent of a brine extraction by controlled pumping. Subsidence from controlled pumping is of very low magnitudes.
  • Clarifies whether a property is in an area underlain by an active salt mine. The active mine workings are indicated to be stable following a large amount of research, testing and monitoring being carried out at the mine
  • Informs whether recorded subsidence features are within 50m of the property, meaning it is in an area susceptible to subsidence.

Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board

The Cheshire Brine Pumping (Compensation for Subsidence) Act, 1952 set up a single Compensation District covering the areas of Cheshire where there was the potential for subsidence resulting from the pumping of brine. The Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board was formed in order to discharge the duties set out in the Act.

About making a claim:

Any potential claimant who wishes to pursue a claim against The Brine Board must first lodge a Prescribed Notice of Damage with the Brine Board. Provided that the property has not been commuted and the applicant is permitted to make a claim, The Brine Board will accept and file the Notice.

The Brine Board’s Surveyor will visit the property at an early opportunity to carry out an inspection of the property and will prepare a report for the Board with a recommendation to either accept or deny liability, or that further investigatory work or survey is required. The Brine Board consider the report and their decision is enacted following the meetings which are held quarterly.  Initially, the claimant is notified of the Brine Board’s decision, and if the Brine Board have accepted liability a structural engineer is often mobilised to the property in order that a Schedule of Damage & Repair can be prepared.  The schedule is forwarded to at least two Firms for estimates for the works to be obtained, and the Brine Board adjudicates regarding the estimates.  Should the Brine Board elect for the property to be repaired, a contractor is appointed to carry out the work, usually by the owner of the property, but the work is inspected by the Brine Board as it is undertaken and the Brine Board reimburse the cost of the contractor upon satisfactory completion of the works. Where property owners wish to carry out repairs as part of other work to the property (general refurbishment) then the Brine Board will consider such a request by virtue of a “merged-works payment” to the claimant, equivalent to the Brine Board’s proportion of the costs, paid upon satisfactory completion of the works.

Exceptionally, should the Brine Board judge either that further significant ground movements are likely to occur or that the property is beyond economic repair, the Brine Board can elect to commute the property. This severs the Brine Board’s liability for any future damage at the property upon payment of an agreed sum to the owner of the property, usually equivalent to the market value of the property.


History of Cheshire Brine

Click here to find out about the history of Cheshire Brine.

 

 

*Price dependant on size of site

** Reliance: £10m Professional Indemnity Insurance (any one claim). Can be relied upon by all professional parties within a property transaction, first purchasers/tenants and their advisers. Please refer to Groundsure terms & conditions.

How do I order a report?

If you already have a Groundsure account you will need to log in using your user name and password and select the product(s) you require. If you do not have a Groundsure account, one must be set up, even for single pay as you go orders. This can be done using the create an account function.

How do I download a report?

All reports will be delivered by email to the designated email address. If necessary, you are also able to include an additional email address before placing your order. However, if the file is too big for email, a download link will be emailed to you. Alternatively, you can download any report from your Order History.

How do I cancel a report?

Cancelling an order ‘in progress’ can be dealt with via your Groundsure account. If the order you wish to cancel is already complete, please contact us and the team will advise you on our cancellation policy.

What does 'Order in Progress' mean?

Order in progress is a status we assign when your report or data is being produced. You will receive your product within the defined turnaround time. If you order states “with Groundsure”, this is because you have submitted your order with a site plan and we are working on digitising your site boundary, or because the site drawn exceeds our standard pricing options. Orders will be placed within 24 hours, and a member of the team will be in contact if we require further information. If you order states “On Hold”, this is because one of our environmental consultants has raised a query with your order. This query will have been emailed to you.

CON29 Local Authority Searches

The CON29, Section 3.12 of The Local Authority Search is an identification of land that has already been designated as “contaminated land” under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This doesn’t provide an indication if a site is on the local authority’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy or if it is likely to be designated.