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What is a local search?

As part of the conveyance process, solicitors or advisors acting in the proposed purchase of a property undertake searches of the Local Land Charges Register and ask related enquires. A local search is also a requirement of most lending institutions as part of the mortgage process.

The local search is in two parts:

The first part is called the LLC1, a legal document which reveals entries that are registered in the Local Land Charges Register, such as planning obligations, financial charges, improvement grants and listed buildings. The council has a statutory duty to maintain the Local Land Charges Register, which is updated daily to provide accurate responses to search requests.

The second part is known as the CON29 Enquiries of a Local Authority. This is a standard form of questions (containing 64 components) agreed between the Law Society and Local Government Associations. The form contains comprehensive enquires designed to reveal to intending purchasers information about the property to be purchased. The enquiries fall broadly into three categories:

  • Planning - enquiries relating to the control of development
  • Highways - enquiries relating to highways, traffic schemes and railways
  • Environmental Health - such as contaminated land and noise abatement.

The enquirer also has the opportunity to ask any additional questions that the solicitor or legal advisor considers appropriate.

Gateshead Council Local Land Charges Service is committed to providing a cost effect quality service to the residents and businesses of Gateshead and for those seeking to move into the borough.

Which search is best for me?

Many homebuyers will assume that on appointing a solicitor they will automatically obtain accurate information needed relating to their property and the surrounding area. This is not necessarily true, as external search companies can also carry out a Local Land Charge Search. They may charge a lower fee but the council does not provide the information they obtain with an accuracy guarantee. Only by asking the council to do an official search for you, can you be sure that you will get such a guarantee.

If an external search company undertakes your search and you need further explanations from the information provided, you will have to go back to the search company, as the council's land charges staff will not be able to help you.

If however you prefer to undertake a personal search of the Local Land Charges Register an appointment system is available at 24 hours notice. A personal search is only a search of the Local Land Charges Register and does not provide answers to questions asked on the CON29 enquiry form. Once the register has been inspected, the personal search has been concluded. 

Information related to questions asked on the CON29 enquiry form (component data) can be inspected, and you may also examine other registers open to the public inspection such as the Planning Register.

Alternatively, you may request a tailored report of component data for a small additional fee (more on fees).

Faster electronic searches for home movers

Gateshead Council has joined a government backed electronic search service called the National Land Information Service (NLIS) (opens new window). NLIS is a one-stop shop to all land and property information and it enables us to receive search requests and return responses electronically. This makes a big difference to the speed with which we can turn around our searches. With NLIS, our current turnaround time is two working days.

Benefits to you are:

  • it speeds up the conveyance process and reduces the risk of gazumping
  • the security of a full official search, with accurate data, direct from your local authority

Local Land Charges: conveyancers and estate agents

  • Our average turnaround time is just two working days
  • We are connected electronically to the National Land Information Service ( NLIS ) and can both receive and return searches electronically
  • Our electronic searches are available at the same price or lower than our paper searches
  • You can save time and money by ordering searches electronically

Local Land Charges: official search applications:

A Local Land Search consists of two sections:

1. Local Land Charges Register (Form LLC1)

This is a search of the Local Land Charges Register maintained and updated by the Local Authority

2. Enquiries of Local Authority (Form CON29 )

This is a standard form enquiry requesting detail of highways, planning and environmental history that may affect a particular property or piece of land.

Please include the following in all applications:

  • Fully completed LLC1 and CON29 forms in duplicate
  • The correct fee 
  • All cheques should be made payable to Gateshead Council
  • An up to date ordnance survey plan with the property clearly marked

All searches will be returned by either DX system, first class post or electronically within 10 working days of the request being received.

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Contact us

Local Land Charges
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 2195