Once one of the largest providers of some of the world’s most valuable fossil fuels, the UK has a rich and extensive mining history. However, despite its golden years now being consigned to the past, mines continue to leave a legacy on the land today and knowing what’s underground can be vital to not only safeguard investments, but also property occupants.
Historic mining activity is still affecting the modern property and land development market, and it’s not just in known mining hotspots such as Cornwall, with an estimated 150,000 abandoned mines across the UK – from Lands’ End to John O’Groats. Identifying and remediating mining risks can not only help in the construction of a safe development, property or public area, but can also play a significant role during sale negotiations if a mining search is conducted early enough – however, if ignored it can prove be a costly mistake for those keen to make a profit.
The identification of mining risks is now often a legal requirement by organisations such as the Law Society, as well as mortgage companies and insurance providers. The findings of mining searches can also help to reliably inform and dictate a purchase decision for investors, and if a risk has been identified, the appropriate action can then be taken to address and minimise risk, long before any formal exchange takes place.
Knowledge is power
A mining search is essential to determine whether there is evidence of historical mining activity beneath any piece of land, or the surrounding areas. It is just as important even in places where there are no obvious signs of past mining, as closed mines leave very little, if any, evidence on the surface, but still have the potential to cause major problems.