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Land Registry Guidance on Ownership of Mines and Minerals of Subsoil of Land

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Serdar Mehmet, residential development lawyer at IBB Solicitors discusses whether a third party, owning the subsoil to land, can prevent a development from proceeding.

Q. How can a developer or landowner determine if the subsoil of his land is owned by a third party?

A. You can find out who owns the subsoil to land by carrying out a search of the Index Map at the Land Registry (if the land is registered) or by examining the title deeds (if the land is unregistered).

Your legal advisers would normally do this for you as part of the due diligence carried out before you buy the land.

Q. What can a developer or landowner do if the subsoil of his land belongs to a third party?

A. There are two things you can do if you discover that the subsoil of your land, or land you are about to buy, belongs to a third party:

1. You could seek to obtain insurance against any claims that the owner of the subsoil may bring against you.

2. You could also approach the owner of the subsoil in order to procure a release of such rights. However, bear in mind that if you do this and the owner is not prepared to release their rights, or you cannot reach a deal with them, you may not be able to obtain mining indemnity insurance because insurers don't usually allow contact with the owner.

There are various other factors that could affect any indemnity insurance available and/or the level of any premium payable. However each case would need to be looked at on it's own facts.

If you would like to discuss this issue, or have any queries on mines and minerals generally, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the residential development lawyers here at IBB.

Please contact IBB's residential development solicitors on on 01895 207803, or email us at or visit

For further information please visit the respective pages:
Partnership and Collaboration Agreements

Property Development Finance

Sustainable Development Legal Experts

The Property Development Process (House Building)

Social Housing Solicitors

Assets of Community Value and Commercial Property Development

Third Party Rights over Land

Press Coverage:
Serdar Mehmet

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