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Contaminated land question.

From Viv Anderson

Friday, 12 June 2015

We are currently purchasing a house in the area after a number of years away but have come up against an unexpected issue.

Our environmental search concluded that the land surrounding the house had the possibility for contamination due to historical industrial use and recommended either taking out an indemnity policy to cover it or carrying our further investigations (rather costly and apparently likely to be inconclusive).

I was just wondering if this was a common occurrence in the area due to its industrial past, in which case we would take out the policy and worry no more about. Any advise or experiences would be welcomed.
Many Thanks.

From Tim M

Friday, 12 June 2015

Yes, indeed - a common question. Of course there are going to be places in this area where there is some chance of contamination from past industrial use, but in my experience buying round here this is pretty common, along with indemnities against future claims relating to repairing church chancels, repairing dams, extracting river water. I don't think most houses round here will have any issues, but there may be a valid reason why this has been suggested, really depends on where/what you are buying.

From Lesley W

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I have had a business in Hebden Bridge and there were lots of surveys but never one relating to land contamination.

Call some estate agents in Hebden Bridge and ask them if its common practice or is someone in your chain trying to make some money from a survey that will be inconclusive any way!!

From Benny M

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

In the early 1990's new EU regulations made it compulsary for former industrial sites to be checked for contamination before any rebuilding. The rest of Europe ignored the ruling as they do. My then employers, a National Building Society, enrolled me on a course as the Calder Valley was considered a major risk.

Without going into boring detail, problems do exist from Halifax all the the way to Littleborough.

Now why all of a sudden is this raising it's ugly head? Insurance underwriters that's why! The Calder Valley has cost them a fortune in recent times and any way they can increase premiums and recover costs they will.

From Jon Morris

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Ah, the old solicitor's indemnity trick. I've seen this on every house move I've done and on lots of other people's too. "Oh, we've found xxx piece of information that may affect you, but don't worry, you can buy an indemnity from us for £70."

I think solicitors tend to hunt around until they find something they can stick it to, just to get a bit more on their bill at the end of the day. Treat it as part of the costs of moving house, pay the £70 and forget about it.