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Consultation on searches finds solution

Would-be property buyers are set to benefit from updating of the forms used to carry out local authority searches.

The CON 29 and CON 290 forms are used by conveyancing solicitors acting on behalf of purchasers to request information from local authorities about issues such as pending planning or building applications, nearby transport schemes and rights of way that might affect the property their clients want to buy.

Last year, the Law Society, which represents solicitors in England Wales, consulted on proposed changes to the forms and has now used the feedback received to produce updated versions, which it hopes to launch on 1 October this year.

Announcing the move on 13 February, Jonathan Smithers, Law Society deputy vice-president and conveyancing and land law committee chair, said: “The responses we received have led to some important changes that will bring the content of the search forms up to date so that prospective buyers and lenders have the information they need at their fingertips.

“Some new enquiries have been added on Community Infrastructure Levy and Assets of Community Value.

“We are now working with stakeholders to implement the new forms, which is a major task as there are almost 400 local authorities in England and Wales who will need to implement the new forms.”