Coal Mining Search

This is a search of the coal authority's records of past mining activity to establish whether the property is on land which is at risk from mining subsidence. Click here to see an example coal mining search result.

Why request a Coal Mining Search?

If the property is in a coal mining area then it may be affected by subsidence caused by underground mining. All mortgage lenders will expect a search to be carried out in order to comply with CML guidelines. The areas where searches may be needed are Yorkshire, Tyneside, Nottinghamshire, parts of the Midlands and Wales (this list is not necessarily exhaustive). To establish whether the property is in an area where a search is required you should contact The Coal Authority. Contact details can be found by clicking the link. 

Ordering the Search

The search is ordered online via the Coal Authority

The Coal Authority Search Explained

Underground Coal Mining

This section tells us whether the property is within an area that is likely to have been affected by past workings and if so, when the mines in question were last worked. It will also say whether ground movement caused by the mining activity should now have ceased.


This is as above but in relation to present workings. You would certainly expect to see that the property is not in the zone of influence of any present mining activity. If it is then the situation should be reported to the purchaser and lender. Assuming the transaction proceeds the purchaser should be advised to contact his buildings insurance provider and declare the fact as this will surely affect the premium, if indeed they are prepared to insure against subsidence damage (a prerequisite if taking a mortgage) at all.


This tells us whether the property is in an area likely to be mined in the foreseeable future.

Mine Entries

This tells us whether there are any old shafts or adits within 20 metres of the property. A shaft or adit, if not properly capped, could be a major subsidence risk. If any entries are revealed then a Mine Entry Interpretive Report will be offered, at a current price of £40 + VAT, which will advise what (if anything) has been done to make the mine safe. It will also offer an opinion as to the level of risk it represents. Once all the information is to hand it should be disclosed to the lender and purchaser. The purchaser should also be advised to disclose the fact to potential insurers.

Coal Mining Geology

This section is self-explanatory, please read the response in our example search result. 

Opencast Coal Mining

This section tells us whether the property is subject to any past, present or future opencast mining.

Coal Mining Subsidence

Here we will see whether there has ever been a claim for subsidence or other loss made against the Coal Authority. If the claim was successful it will also say whether it was discharged by compensation or by repair. If by repair then enquiries will need to be raised to establish exactly what was done and in particular whether any underpinning work was carried out since this would require building regulations approval an a structural engineer's/architect's certificate. If the claim was discharged by compensation then you must establish, by enquiring of the seller, whether any repairs were actually carried out. If not, then clearly the problem still remains and will have to be reported to purchaser and lender.

Mine Gas

This tells us whether any mine gas emissions have ever been recorded on the land.

Hazards relating to coal mining

This tells us whether the Coal Authority has ever had to respond to an emergency call out to repair a mining related hazard.

Cheshire Brine

We will deal with Cheshire Brine searches as a separate topic.