Conveyancing Advice - Railway Line Extensions

An example of how conveyancing can go wrong when it comes to railway extensions can be seen when another conveyancing firm in 1997 acted for a Ms B who bought her first home, a small apartment on a newly built estate in Deptford, South London. To her astonishment, two months later she found bulldozers digging up the park seven metres from her windows.

The work was significant and lasted a year. It was an extension to the Docklands Light Railway, which runs from Lewisham to the Isle of Dogs. Mrs B and other residents had to then put up with the noise of regular trains.

Local authority searches should have details of new railway proposals which require planning permission or other authorisation (enquiry no. 3. 5 on the standard local search form July 2002 edition).

Not all examples of these proposals are from Network Rail - Crossrail is one such example. Information about Crossrail is available from or the Crossrail Helpline (0845 602 3813). Enquiries in relation to the East London Line Extension should be addressed to London Underground Limited, 55 The Broadway London SW1H ODB.

Where a Local Authority Search reveals railway extension proposals where the centre line of which is within 200 metres of the property we send a letter in the following lines to the appropriate railway company.

Dear Sirs

We act on behalf of a prospective purchaser of the above mentioned property.

The location of the property is shown edged red on the attached Land Registry plan.

Our Local Authority Search reveals that the property lies within 200 metres of the proposed [ Railway Line Extension ].

We should be grateful if you would confirm the following:

1 The proposed route of the project is likely to adversely effect the above mentioned property.
2 Whether there is any information which our client’s mortgagees should be made aware of .

We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.