In April, Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Land Charges Service was temporarily suspended due to the direct impact of COVID-19. On 8 June, the service resumed accepting new Official & Personal Searches.
We are working with a reduced workforce but have allocated additional members of staff to support the service, while adhering to the government social distancing guidelines. It may be some months before the benefits of this support are fully realised due to the training requirements.
Since resuming services we have received a large number of requests and are working through these.
At present, we are taking up to 10 weeks to return Official Searches. We have a backlog of 192 searches and are currently processing Official Searches received by the authority since June. Please note, the date your conveyancer submits a search may not always correspond with the date the Council receives it. This delay happens because some conveyancers instruct a third party to retrieve replies relating to the various property searches required in land transactions and the third party contacts us for the search.
(otherwise referred to as a Personal or Regulated Search) of the Local Land Charges Register (LLCR).
A personal search agent instructed by you or your conveyancer often makes these requests and the Council does not receive a fee for this. Search agents may also collect replies on other land and property data via EIR from across other District Council and County Council Departments as part of their full response to the conveyancer's enquiries. This means the Land Charges Department cannot account for all the responses but are aiming to complete EIR searches of the LLCR within the regulated timeframe. Further information on the extent of a personal search can be found below.
The information on this page will be updated as the situation changes.
The Stratford-on-Avon District Council Land Charges team provides information about land and buildings in response to searches, so that purchasers can find out about - for example - obligations enforceable against successive owners, and also certain planning and building control issues.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has now published guidance for the general public on how to buy a home and how to sell a home. This guidance has been developed following meetings with stakeholders including the Local Land Charges Institute.
A solicitor would usually request a search using standard forms LLC1 - search of Local Land Charges Register and CON29 - Enquiries of Local Authority. These can be purchased by forwarding one or both enquiries and the required fee to the council.
The search of the Local Land Charges Register (LLC1) ensures that purchasers of land and property are not caught unaware by obligations enforceable against successive owners under the terms of various statutes.
The standard enquiries search (CON29) includes details of planning matters and environmental and enforcement notices and provides information supplied by the county council on road status, road agreements, road and traffic schemes, rights of way, open access land, compulsory purchase and outstanding statutory notices. Information concerning land ownership, water and drainage, common land and village greens can also be supplied through the search process.
A “personal search" is a request to inspect or receive copies of unrefined property-related information. Most responses to enquiries listed on the Law Society's CON29, CON29O and LLC1 form will contain environmental information, and therefore the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) will apply, unless you ask us to provide an enhanced service.
Where you ask us to process your request for environmental information under the provisions of the EIR, we will respond to the request within 20 working days. The information provided will be unrefined data, in the sense that it will not be enhanced or interpreted by the council in any way. The response does not provide answers to the questions asked on the standard enquiry form. We do not provide anything in writing and the onus is on the person carrying out the search to ensure they discover all issues that affect the property.
All environmental information held on a public register or on a list kept by the council must be provided free of charge under the EIR. The same applies to the examination of environmental information where the council makes a place available for that purpose.
If the register or list is published on the council's website you will be able to access it using a public terminal or, where your request is sent by email, the council will send you a link so that you can view the register or list from your own computer. If the council is unable to provide examination facilities for whatever reason, the information will be provided by some other method.
Public authorities may make a reasonable charge for other categories of environmental information made available under the EIR, including environmental information provided as part of a personal search. However, currently Stratford-on-Avon District Council does not charge for this service.
For details of the basis for calculation of the Land Charges search fees please view:
For further information please contact the Land Charges team:
Please also refer to the Land Registry website for more information.