Searches - land charges

Wirral Council aim to provide home buyers and property conveyancers with an easily accessible guide to searches, including fees and addresses.

All our searches are carried out using the latest Geographic Information Systems, ensuring turnaround times are kept to an absolute minimum (usually within two working days). If a search is marked "URGENT" we will make every effort to return it the same day at no extra cost.

What are Land Charges?

If you are planning to buy or lease a property you will need to know whether there are any issues of concern, such as plans for a motorway at the bottom of your garden or outstanding Notices requiring you to remedy an earlier wrong doing.

In this context the word "charge" means any outstanding financial claim, restriction, decision or information which may affect a particular property or parcel of land. These include charges for such services as roads, restrictions such as tree preservation orders and conditions imposed on planning permissions, conservation areas, legal agreements and listed buildings.

The Council, by law, must keep a Land Charges Register. The register records relevant information on every property / parcel of land within the borough. It is updated daily and contains information on planning permissions, highway status/proposals, conservation area designation, tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, improvement grants, management orders, and Financial Charges.

What is a Search?

The search is a series of standard questions designed to give any potential buyer as much information as possible about the property. This is to ensure that he/she is aware of any local matters affecting the property they are buying so that there are no hidden surprises.

Searches of the register are usually carried out by the solicitor acting on behalf of a prospective buyer, although anyone is entitled to do this. The purpose of a search is to disclose to the interested parties any financial claims and other council decision or restrictions that affect the property or parcel of land.

A search request is usually submitted in two parts: Form LLC1 and Form CON29. These forms are available from legal stationers or the Law Society

LLC1 - Application for an Official Search of the Register. The reply to such an application will, for example, reveal if the property is in a conservation area or may be a listed building, or if any trees on the property are protected by a tree preservation order etc.

CON29 - Standard Enquiries of Local Authorities Form. This deals with issues such as road schemes, planning history, building regulations and various notices which affect the property.

The CON29 is divided into two parts:

  • CON 29R (2007) Enquiries of local authority; and
  • CON 29O (2007) Optional enquires of local authority

Only a CON29 Local Authority search is certified by the Council and it contains questions that do not form part of the public record.

Forms CON 29R and CON 29O are available under license from the Law Society in paper and electronic format from legal stationers such as: Oyez Straker, Laserform, Peapod, LexisNexis, and Shaw & Sons.

Some solicitors use personal agency searches. These are carried out by agencies that inspect public registers and consult other areas of information to provide their own search responses. The council cannot guarantee responses given by personal agency searches.

The Law Society, which regulates solicitors, encourages the use of official searches and considers that alternative personal searches of the statutory register, should be undertaken only with the approval of the client when time does not permit official searches. Members of the public are advised to confirm with their solicitor that an official search has been undertaken and to inspect the Official Certificate of Search LLC1 and CON29 enquiries to ensure they have been carried out to their satisfaction.

What areas of the Wirral can we search?

Please ensure that the property address required for the search falls within Wirral Council’s area. Some of the southerly portion of the Wirral Peninsula falls within the boundary of Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council. Please double check before applying.

How much does it cost?

  • Full search (LLC1 + CON29) = £91.58
  • Extra Parcel of land = £15.00
  • Short Search (LLC1 only) = £24.50
  • CON29R = £67.08
  • CON29O = £10.00 per question
  • CON29O (No 22 Common Land) = £14.00
  • Enquirer's own questions = £10.00 each*
  • Personal search of Local Land Charges Register = Free of Charge 
  • Personal search of CON29 data free download Access to Information Leaflet

*Please note: An additional fee (charged at £48.00 per hour) may be charged for complex questions requiring extra research by a Planning Officer.

The price of a full search for £91.58 includes one free refresh search within 6 months of the date of the search. The original search must be returned with the application.

How do I submit a search?

There are full instructions on the Local Land Charges forms. Your solicitor will have these forms or you can buy them from legal stationers.

Both the LLC1 and CON29 forms should be submitted at the same time if answers to both are required.

Please note that searches must include the following when submitted to be accepted for processing.

  • The correct fee (please see Our Fees)
  • Solicitors or Clients’ own cheques are accepted and are to be made out with the correct amount to Wirral Council.
  • Plans should be submitted in duplicate with the search area edged red. The plan, preferably at a scale of 1:1250 should have sufficient detail to enable Land Charges staff to accurately locate the search area
  • If the property is on a new development we may require a developers plan showing the position of the building plots and the location of the site in relation to the surrounding area.

How do I cancel a search?

We regret that we cannot cancel searches once entered on the computer as work will have already commenced

PERSONAL INSPECTION OF LAND CHARGES REGISTER

Wallasey Town Hall (North Annexe), Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED

To carry out a personal inspection of the Land Charges Register, free of charge, you will need to book an appointment. This will normally coincide with your other Personal Search arrangements. Please email or telephone your property search request. We will log your request and advise of an appointment date and time in order for you to access the data.

You can contact us with your request at landcharges@wirral.gov.uk

or alternatively by telephone on 0151 691 8256 during office hours Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm

We need at least 24 hours notice of when you want to inspect the data and you must also provide your name and address, and be prepared to identify the land against which you want to search

A half hour appointment will be allocated to you to access and inspect the data, a maximum of 10 properties is permitted per allocated appointment, and the Personal Search must be completed within the allotted time. Additional appointments may be necessary to complete the number of properties required

Appointments are available Monday - Friday between the hours of 10:00am to 12:00pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm

We will endeavour to meet your request as soon as possible, often within 24 hours, however as these requests will be considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 we will ensure that the 20 working day statutory deadline is achieved

Contact us:

Contact us by phone or email using the details on the right.

Alternatively you can write to us or call in at:

Land Charges Section
North Annexe,

Wallasey Town Hall,

Brighton Street

Wallasey

CH44 8ED

Other questions  

Drainage Enquiries

This information is not available from Wirral Council. 

Drainage Information for the majority of Wirral is supplied by United Utilities however it should be noted

that some roads in the Heswall area come under the jurisdiction of Welsh Water.

United Utilities:

Property Searches, Ground Floor,

Grasmere House, Lingley Mere Business Park,

Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey,

Warrington WA5 3LP DX 715568 WARRINGTON 7

Welsh Water:

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water PO Box 3146,

Linea Building, Fortran Road,Cardiff CF30 0EH

Ownership Enquiries

We regret we are unable to answer questions about who owns a property. However it is possible to enquire of HM Land Registry at:

Land Registry
Rosebrae Court
Woodside Ferry Approach
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 6DU

Customer Support Team Telephone Number 0844 892 1111

Opening Hours: 8am - 6pm, Monday - Friday.

Local Land Charges Institute

Wirral Council is a member of the Local Land Charges Institute aiming to provide a quality service in this field for all.