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Land Charges

What is a local land charge?

A 'charge' is a restriction imposed on the use of land.

A local land charge is binding on successive owners or occupiers of land or property:

  1. Conditions imposed when planning permission is granted
  2. Conservation Areas which restrict permitted development
  3. Smoke Control Orders made under the Clean Air Act, restricting what type of fuel may be burned.

The Local Land Charges Registers and the carrying out of searches of them were introduced by the Land Charges Act 1925. The registers and the ability to make searches of them were designed to ensure that purchasers of land or property are not caught out by the existence of obligations or restrictions. These are known as charges and are binding against successive owners, by local authorities.

The registers form a property-based information system. A search result will include any entries recorded against the property being searched - typically, these would include Conservation Areas, Tree Preservation Orders, Smoke Control Orders and financial charges where the Local Authority can recover money owed to it.