Request a local land charge search

Our fees are increasing as of 1 April 2019, please see the below section "How much does a local authority search cost?" for the new fees.


As per instruction from HMRC our fees will include VAT on the Con29 element of a local land charges search.

Turnaround times

Our current turnaround times are:

  • 15 working days, but we will return them sooner if possible

If you have any general enquiries, please email the local land charges team

If you have any feedback about the service provided, please put it in writing and email it to Ian Clark, Principal Solicitor, Legal Services at

A local authority search is part of the standard conveyancing process if you are buying a house or plot of land, or leasing a property. A solicitor or other conveyancing professional usually applies for a local authority search on your behalf, although you can carry out a search yourself (see 'can I make my own inspection...?' section).

Searches look for any legal restrictions on the property or land in question. These restrictions are known as 'local land charges' (see 'local land charge' section below). Here are the questions most frequently asked about local authority searches.

For more information email, telephone 023 9283 4063, 023 9283 4065 or 023 9283 4357, or contact local land charges at the Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2PX.

Charges are legal restrictions on a property or land where the council or central government can demand payment from successive owners or occupiers. Charges include:

  • planning permissions and restrictions
  • tree preservation orders, conservation areas and listed building entries
  • highway rights and proposals
  • development proposals for the property, environmental health notices, and building control matters
  • enforcement notices or financial charges, such as money owing to the council as a result of work it has carried out.

All charges are collated into one local register - the local land charges register. Portsmouth City Council's local land charges register covers all properties and land within the city boundary. It is held electronically, and is maintained and updated by the council's local land charges department.

The local land charges department provides this information to solicitors and other conveyancing professionals, who can then advise clients as part of the property buying process.

Portsmouth City Council's local land charges department deals with thousands of local authority search enquiries every year – mostly from solicitors acting on behalf of buyers -  investigating whether any legal restrictions or future development proposals affect a particular property or piece of land.

A local authority search lets you know any charges or responsibilities you will be taking on with a particular property or piece of land. An example might be a footpath, the maintenance of which is the responsibility of the land owners or leaseholders, not the council. A search can inform you of any planning applications that may affect the property in the future, such as new roads being proposed close to your property.

A local authority search is usually required by your bank or building society as a condition of securing a mortgage.

The basic local authority search comprises the official certificate of search (also known as LLC1) and a CON29 enquiries form:

  • LLC1 reveals all entries listed in the local land charges register
  • CON29 is a series of nationally agreed questions, including many 'warning' questions, the answers to which are not in any of the statutory registers. To find the answers, the council searches other local government records, such as planning, the environment and rights of way.

The CON29 enquiry form provides information not only on what is already in existence, but also developments in the pipeline, being considered or awaiting approval.

This form has a number of optional enquiries that your solicitor or conveyancer may specifically request (and for which an additional fee is payable), for example any planning proposals for adjacent land or property, such as a new housing development on the field behind.

Here are some of the questions you could choose to have answered on a CON29O form:

  • is there a pipeline within 100 metres?
  • is the property affected by any hazardous substances?
  • is it in an area of outstanding natural beauty/in a noise abatement zone/in an urban development area?

The Land Registry has more information on different types of searches.

The average response time for all Portsmouth City Council search requests is 15 working days, but we will return them sooner if possible.

If you contact us for an update on your search, please note that we are only able to discuss the details with the client or person who submitted them. This is often a solicitor on behalf of the buyer.

Council fees for local authority search services are:

Local authority search fees
ServiceNew fees as of 1 April 2019
LLC1 and CON29R £126.00 (inc VAT on CON29R only)
LLC1 only - search of the local land charges register £30.00 (VAT n/a)
CON29R only - standard additional questions £96.00 (inc. VAT)
CON290 only - optional additional questions £36.00 (inc. VAT)
Optional questions £24.00 (inc. VAT) Excluding questions 8 Pipelines and 20 Hedgerow Notices there is no charge
Additional question - own composition £36.00 (inc. VAT)
Parcel of land on LLC1 £2.00 (VAT n/a)
Parcel of land on CON29R £18.00 (inc. VAT)

If you require a copy of a document revealed in a search reply please apply directly to the inspection address given.

Portsmouth City Council land charges department is connected to the National Land Information Service at level 3, which means we can receive and return searches totally electronically.

If you complete our online form, we will return the search results to you as a PDF file. You can pay by cheque or card in advance or by monthly account. To pay by card, please call the payment line 023 9284 1622. To set up a monthly account, please contact us for an application form.

Paper searches require two copies of the plan.

For email searches, please email your plan to

You can phone 023 9283 4063 or 023 9283 4065 for details of how to make a personal search of the local land charges register yourself. The register is available between 9.30am and 4pm. There is no charge for this service. has more information on personal searches.

No, drainage enquiries are dealt with by Southern Water. Email their helpdesk or phone 0845 270 0212 8am to 5pm.

This is dealt with by HM Land Registry. Their telephone number is 0300 006 0411

Also referred to as a 'commons registration search', a common land search shows whether a piece of land or property is registered as common in the official registers kept by Portsmouth City Council. Common land searches are an optional question on the CON290.

Complete the online form to submit your local land charge search.

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