New energy source poses valuation risk

A new energy source could mean a huge source of income for the UK but bring with it huge problems for homeowners.

Following successful use in America, shale gas reserves are being investigated as an energy source here in the UK.

Shale can only be extracted using the controversial fracking method which brings with it significant environmental risks.

Exploration has been halted while the Government awaits the results of tests on different fracking methods by Cuadrilla, an American exploration company whose drilling in the Blackpool area last year caused a small earthquake.

As well as this, the only study on the connection between house prices and fracking showed that those living within two miles of shale gas wells can expect house prices to fall by 24 per cent.

The British Geological Survey is currently conducting a Government commissioned survey, to access the suitability of shale gas use.

The Government is also likely to give its permission to mining companies to continue exploration and testing.

The first extraction of shale gas could start as early as 2014. So, what does this mean for homeowners in affected areas? How will the possible risk be communicated? Should it be the responsibility of conveyancers to inform consumers?

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