Landmark urges conveyancers to assess ground stability risk for homebuyers, following appearance of sinkhole in St Albans

With news in this week regarding the appearance of a huge sinkhole in a residential cul-de-sac in St Albans, Landmark Information Group, the UK’s leading supplier of digital mapping, property and environmental risk information, is reminding conveyancing solicitors of the importance of running relevant ground stability checks as part of the due diligence process.

A sinkhole is classed as a collapse of ground over a naturally formed void at depth. They typically occur when the ground below the surface has been dissolved and are, therefore, usually found in areas underlain by chalk, limestone, gypsum and salt. They can also occur as a result of ground collapse over man-made voids in the ground, such as mine workings or historic quarries.

Having carried out a Homecheck Professional Ground Stability report on Fontmell Close in St Albans where the latest collapse happened, it has identified Natural or Man-Made Cavities within the 250m search area, plus includes features on Ordnance Survey’s historical mapping that may indicate potential ground stability risks.  Historical mapping also identifies that the area was historically used as a brick field and clay pit, with extensive local clay brick and tile manufacturing.

Rob Phillipson, Sales & Product Directorat LandmarkInformation Group said: “In this particular instance, the results from the HomeCheck Professional Ground Stability Report identify a number of risks, based on the historical use of the land at the address in St Albans. Given the potential impact on a property, ground instability risk is clearly something for which conveyancing solicitors should be checking as part of their due diligence process. At Landmark, our residential and commercial reports contain data from multiple sources to provide risk screening and next steps.”

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This article was submitted to be published by Landmark Information Group as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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