You are here: Home > Policy > Policy issues

Properties close to mine entries

Last updated 25/09/2012: any recent updates in this colour.

Old mine entries exist in many parts of country, with the Coal Authority having records of about 170,000 coal mine entries in Great Britain, and estimates that there may be a similar number of unrecorded entries. The CA's jurisdiction does not cover Northern Ireland.

Mine entries represent a potential hazard for various reasons. The most extreme example would be the injury to persons or damage to property where a mine entry has collapsed. The filling of a mine entry may also in some cases, settle, causing subsidence or, in more serious cases, cratering.

The Coal Authority provide general data and specific reports and searches relating to coal mine entries, designed to assist property professionals and the general public when dealing with properties in a coal mining area.

Mortgage applications and coal mining searches

When a lender receives a mortgage application from an existing or prospective borrower, it arranges for a valuation for mortgage purposes to be carried out by an appropriately experienced and qualified valuer.

The purpose of this valuation is not to give a detailed report on the structural condition of the property but, rather, to confirm that it represents adequate security for the loan being requested. The valuer commissioned to undertake the valuation may well be aware that the area in which the property is situated is or may be affected by former mineworkings, but will not have immediate access to detailed plans of the area showing the location of each known mine entry. There is no central record of mine workings and mine entries relating to minerals other than coal. However, there is such a record in relation to coal mine workings and coal mine entries and for this reason, conveyancers acting on behalf of the lender are instructed to carry out a coal mining search in accordance with the;guidance issued in conjunction with the Law Societies in England and Wales and Scotland, and as required more generally by lenders via the general instructions to conveyancers in the CML Lenders' Handbook.

Rectification of damage to property

The physical risks to people and property are considered to be slight. However, under the terms of the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991 (as amended by the Coal Industry Act 1994) the Coal Authority and their Licensees have a duty to take remedial action in respect of subsidence damage caused by withdrawal of support from land and/or property in connection with lawful coal-mining operations, at no cost or liability to the home owner, their mortgage lender or insurance company.

In addition to this the Coal Authority provide a 24 hour 7 day a week emergency service to take remedial action in respect of hazards associated with the movement or collapse of any coal mineshaft or other entrances to coal mines and from any other coal mining related surface hazards; again at no cost or liability to the home owner, their mortgage lender or insurance company.

This page also contains information for members only. Members must login to view.