Fracking all over the world
Fracking is a live issue and isn’t going away any time soon. Fracking is essentially a way for companies to get shale gas out of the ground by using high pressure water and chemicals. There are many environmental, political and economic arguments surrounding what some may see as a controversial method of extracting a natural resource, which some say may cause damage to the property and environment.
When purchasing a property, we carry out a number of searches for a client to identify risks and make sure they are aware of what they are buying. One of the searches is an Environmental search, The Environmental search is crucial in identifying environmental risk associated with the Property.
From this one search we can identity if a property may be at risk from fracking and, undertake more in-depth searches, such as an Energy and Infrastructure Search. The Energy and Infrastructure Search will identify areas of land which could be earmarked for energy exploration and exploitation in the future, including fracking, which we can then pass onto the buyer so that they are at least aware of any issues before they purchase the property and can then make an informed decision.
Sadly, it is not possible for solicitors to tell from merely looking at the search if a result is going to affect a client’s use and enjoyment of the property, which is why we always pass a copy onto Buyers for them to make their own assessment. We also pass a copy onto a Buyer’s mortgage lender, so that they and the valuer can assess whether the value of the land is affected.
As the debate rages about whether fracking should be permitted and who should pay if it causes damages, Solicitors will have to ensure that Buyers and their lenders have as much information before they exchange and complete so that they can decide whether or not to proceed. Unfortunately this doesn’t cover future decisions and licences granted.