Q. I am in the process of buying a property and have just had the results from the environmental search back from my solicitor. However, I am considerably alarmed as I understand from the report that the property was developed on contaminated land. My solicitor has asked me to call her to discuss. Do you think I should continue with the purchase, or withdraw and start looking for another property?
A. If you have set your sights on living in Docklands then I’m afraid looking for another property within the area is not the solution. The entire area was of course previously Dockland’s as the name suggests, and also home to many industrial factories. Therefore, most existing residential sites have been built on what was previously contaminated land. Having said that most local solicitors are of course more than aware of this issue as it presents itself on a regular basis. Although, it can be some what alarming to someone like yourself who had no idea of this issue. You will however, be delighted to know that it’s a problem that is easily rectified. First steps are usually to get the Vendor’s solicitor to provide you with a certificate of de-contamination or a remediation certificate as it’s sometimes referred to, this is to confirm that the land was adequately treated and dealt with before building commenced on the site. These can sometimes be difficult to locate and in the event that a certificate cannot be provided, its worth asking your estate agent if they can assist as they may have progressed other sales on that particular development and have a copy from another file. If a certificate cannot be provided your solicitor would likely go down the path of purchasing indemnity insurance on your behalf to insure against any future problems occurring.