Latest ‘sinkhole’ alerts conveyancers and homebuyers to importance of ground stability due diligence


Landmark_Logo MASTER CMYKRiskView Residential warns of high risk of ground dissolution and history of natural cavities within 250m of latest sinkhole incident in Ripon, Yorkshire.

Landmark Information Group, the land and property data specialists, is reminding homebuyers and property solicitors of the importance of researching ground stability risks when progressing the purchase and conveyancing process of property transactions, following the latest reports of a 20m x 10m sinkhole that has this week appeared in the back gardens of two homes in Ripon, Yorkshire.

Having run a RiskView Residential report to retrospectively assess the area in question, the Landmark report has identified that the Ripon properties are located in an area where natural ground instability hazards could occur. In particular it highlights a ‘high risk’ relating to the potential for ground dissolution, and a ‘moderate’ risk for potential compressible ground hazards.

The RiskView Residential report highlights evidence of the previous occurrence of other natural ‘sinkhole’ cavities in the surrounding area.  It therefore recommends obtaining advice from a specialist surveyor for further guidance.

This matches findings from a case study the British Geological Survey (BGS) produced in 2014 following a collapse at a property in Magdelan Close, Ripon, which runs adjacent to the latest sinkhole. The report shows the susceptibility of ground instability caused as a result of dissolving Gypsum, which has led to the formation of a cave system.  This has led to reports of collapses due to ground instability from as far back as 1834.

Rob Phillipson, sales and product director at Landmark Information Group said: “Ground stability issues are, indeed, becoming increasingly pertinent to home-movers, which is one reason why so many solicitors are now choosing the RiskView Residential as their default search; all environmental risks are comprehensively covered, giving peace of mind to all parties involved. Issues like this can happen anywhere and so undertaking the right searches at the outset to determine potential risks is so important for all concerned. ”

In one single order, RiskView Residential presents the findings previously provided in four separate reports: Flood Risk, Contaminated Land, Ground Hazards, and Energy & Infrastructure.  The combined analysis is delivered in an easy-to-read lightweight PDF report, which includes interactive web-links enabling conveyancers and their clients to click-through and instantly view the data within an interactive online map.

For more information click on www.landmark.co.uk/landmark-legal, call telephone 0844 844 9966 or follow the team on Twitter.

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