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It pays to check out a locality

HOW much do average house buyers know about the area they are moving into?

Research sponsored by Landmark reveals that 92 per cent of home owners consider it important to be aware of large planning applications in their area.

Yet standard local authority searches carried out as part of the home-buying process are restricted to the property itself. In addition, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of people think it is important to be conscious of small planning applications in their neighbourhood.

The Plansearch and Plansearch Plus reports provide information on planning applications, larger planning decisions, masts and footpaths in a wide radius of the property.

The latter also contains information about local facilities, schools, crime rates and a breakdown of the area’s housing and demographics.

James Sherwood-Rogers, managing director of Landmark Legal and Financial, said: "Too many homebuyers purchase a property without an awareness of the number of planning applications in the area.

"As a result, homebuyers could be buying in an area where a major development is proposed, or a phone mast is to be built.

"Our research has told us that the overwhelming majority of homebuyers (89 per cent) feel that details of local crime rates are incredibly important in allowing them to make an informed decision about their purchase.

"This is why the Plansearch Plus report includes information regarding not only crime rates, but also information on the numbers of theft insurance claims in that location."

Buyers should insist their lawyers provide a detailed report, he added.

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