Buyer’s Guide on Properties Near A Mineshaft
There are a lot of things you need to think about and consider when buying property. While many of these are obvious, one thing that may not have come into your mind is whether a property is near a mineshaft or not. However, with an estimated 2,000 mines still currently active and more than 100,000 abandoned, buying property near a mineshaft may be a more common thing than you thought.
While it does not necessarily mean you should avoid buying if there is a mineshaft near the house in question, it does mean there is a lot more you need to think about. Some mortgage companies will not offer loans on properties in historic mining areas or where there is a mineshaft within 20 metres or less to the property. So, before you go through with buying a property near a mineshaft, take a look at this buyer’s guide.
Do You Need a Mining Search?
The first thing you will want to know is whether or not you need a mining search and why. Most industry experts consider mining searches to be a bare minimum that anyone buying a property in an area famous for mining in the past or present. As there are no clear markers or records about the location of mines, mining searches are an effective way to determine how likely it is that mining activity took place in the area. Moreover, it also identifies the risk that past mining and the existing mines pose to the property and environment.
Mining Impact on Property
The reason it is so important to look into this subject is that mining, even if it’s historic and the mines have been abandoned for many years, can have a considerable impact on the environment and property in the area. What kind of impact?
Perhaps one of the most direct and biggest potential impacts of a mineshaft near a house is subsidence. The term subsidence refers to the sinking or downward movement of a property. There are two main types of subsidence – natural and non-natural. Whereas naturally occurs as a side effect of natural hazards, non-natural, unsurprisingly is caused by human-related activities like mining. The land surface topography can be badly affected by subsidence. When materials like coal are taken from an underground mine, they can cause the roofing materials to cave in, which can eventually lead to subsidence above ground.
Another way mining can impact the surrounding area is through contamination of the land. It is no secret that there has always been a trade-off of pollution with the benefits of mining for materials such as metal ores and coal. In a report published by the Environment Agency, polluted water in the UK is predominately caused by large-scale disturbances of land directly related to mining. Within its Environmental Protection Act, it is stated that the cleaning up of this contamination is the responsibility of the individual or company that caused it. This can be hard to pinpoint, so it often falls to the current occupier or owner of the land to deal with. That is why you need to arrange for Local Authority Searches before buying a property near mine shafts.
In addition to contamination and subsidence, another issue related to a property near mine shafts is groundwater flooding. According to a report published by the Environmental Agency and Coal Authority, there have been instances in the past when groundwater and mining have not been assessed properly before development and construction work has been carried out.
Other Important Checks
Aside from the searches and checks already noted in this guide, depending on the type of mining that was carried out in an are where you are interested in buying a property, there are more specific searches that can be carried out.
When It Comes to Selling
One of the biggest issues you need to bear in mind is that even if you can successfully buy your property near a mineshaft and can secure a mortgage, you may have problems at the other end of your ownership period – when you want to sell. As many mortgage lenders are reluctant to deal with properties near mineshafts, you will find that there are fewer buyers interested in your property. Unless you choose a company like Cash Home, which have extensive experience and expert knowledge on this type of property.