Groundsure mining reports now delve even deeper

Groundsure mining reports now delve even deeper
Since March 2020 an interpretive assessment of mine entries is included as standard in the Groundsure CON29M Official Coal Mining Search, for no extra charge.

This enhancement removes the need for a costly follow-up report and potential delay to a transaction. Read on for some background to the development – and the odd mining pun, if you’re that way inclined. I count ten…

Groundsure and Mining Searches UK

In February 2019 Groundsure launched its CON29M Official Coal Mining Search in partnership with Mining Searches UK (MSUK), bringing simplicity and a fresh new look to coal mining search reports. A resounding success, the product seams to have gone down rather well. Following that successful collaboration the two businesses were joined, with Groundsure’s acquisition of MSUK finalised on the 2nd of January 2020 (a coal-ition, if you will).

As the country’s leading specialists in historical mining risk MSUK brings huge value and opportunity previously unavailable to Groundsure. Their unique data holdings and expertise are an absolute goldmine. Conversely, the assets and expertise Groundsure possesses give new ways to think about mining risk. The combined business is uniquely primed to deliver new solutions across the spectrum of geo-environmental risk, and we are very excited about the prospect. The first example is this fantastic enhancement to the already successful CON29M product.

The CON29M

The CON29M is a legal form set out by the Law Society to provide information on past, present, and future underground and surface coal mining activity for individual properties or sites in England and Wales. Prior to 2018, the sole provider of the CON29M was the Coal Authority. Official data was then opened up to third parties, and Groundsure was an early adopter.

The 11 questions (14 for commercial property) of the CON29M form are set out by The Law Society and cover all bases when it comes to risk from past, present, and future coal mining. Historically, when certain features were identified within the CON29M it would recommend more detailed follow-up searches be undertaken; one of these being the Mine Entry Report – a detailed interpretive assessment of the specific risk posed by any mine entries identified in proximity (20m) to the property in question. Follow-up searches are a major frustration in our industry (you could say they are the pits) so we began to explore ways to improve this process.

The standalone Mine Entry Report provided a detailed assessment and analysis from a consultant at MSUK. Over the years MSUK has developed techniques to calculate the unique area at potential risk of a ground collapse from each mine entry. The rules and data feeding into those workings have now been enhanced and refined to the point where inclusion in the CON29M as standard is now possible.

Beyond the guidance

In calculating zones of influence (ZOI) we have discovered that a significant number of mine entries extend influence beyond the 20m distance searched by the standard CON29M. In the new Groundsure CON29M, if the ZOI of a mine entry encroaches on the property we will always flag the risk – no matter how far away the mine entry itself. In doing so we go further than the guidance, ensuring potential risk posed by coal mining is not under-reported as could previously have been the case.

The additional ZOI data and assessment are now delivered upfront and as standard, meaning a follow-up search is no longer required. This means large financial savings (the standalone Mine Entry Report previously retailed at £120) but crucially saves time and an entire step in the conveyancing process, speeding up any transaction by days at a time. We hope you’ll agree this development is a big win for you and your clients. 

The Groundsure CON29M had already alleviated the need for one previously standard follow-up report through the upfront information provided on subsidence claims. Now we have ticked another off the list with this great enhancement to our mine entry data. You might even say we’re adit again.

In these uncertain and unusual times I think it’s appropriate l leave you will this little gem… “a diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure”. So keep going everyone, and see you all on the other side. When we do, mine’s a pint. Cheers!

Click here for further information about the Groundsure CON29M Official Coal Mining Search.

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May 15, 2020

Dominic Tubb