'Brown field' service launched

AN environmental information company has launched a computerised land contamination checking service for solicitors acting in brown field property deals.

Landmark Information launched the service – Home Envirosearch – last month. It provides solicitors with a report of the past and present uses of a piece of land and identifies any risks, such as leaked dye or old gas pipes beneath buildings.

The service is currently only available to solicitors within the M25 and East Anglia, although it is due to be launched nationwide early next year.

Landmark collates information supplied by pollution monitoring and environmental licensing body the Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey and other national data sources to produce a report for #39 in an average time of three days.

The search service is distributed to solicitors by information management specialists Geodesys and legal support services suppliers Jordans.

Landmark business development manager Geoff Offen claimed some of the information offered by Landmark was "unique" to the service. He said it could be dated back to the mid-nineteenth century and could not be obtained from a local authority search.

Offen said there was a "growing need" for environmental information, particularly since the Government intended to build 60 per cent of its new homes on "brown field" or post-industrial waste dumping grounds.

Landmark has provided similar reports to engineers and geotechnical consultants since 1995.