Land Charges

Did you know that you can apply and pay for a local search online? Local search request eform [online form, opens in new window]

More information about fees

The Local Land Charges Section is run within the Legal Section at the Town Hall, Darlington.

The search involves answering a number of questions about matters such as local proposals, planning and environmental health issues.

We collate information from departments within the Council and from the Local Land Charges Register.

At present the Local Land Charges Register is in the process of being computerised. Each search that is submitted is sent to the answering department electronically and a computer printout of the answers together with a photocopy of the Local Land Charges Register is sent to the instructing solicitor.

The Local Land Charges Section aims to:

Process all standard searched within 3 to 5 working days or less.

  • process all non standard searches within 10 working days or less
  • respond to all letters within 10 working days
  • answer the telephone within 10 seconds
  • respond promptly to complaints/comments/suggestions

Service Standards

  • we will treat you courteously, efficiently, tactfully and in confidence
  • we will treat everybody equally and address special needs whenever possible
  • we will encourage customer comment, suggestion or complaint and consider appropriate changes within the service
  • we will index and register a Local Land Charge within ten working days of receipt
  • we will make the register available with appointments to personal searches during the published opening hours
  • we will keep our service users informed in writing of any changes in legislation or regulation concerning the service

Comments, complaints and compliments

We realise that occasionally you may be disappointed with some aspects of the service we provide. We take your comments seriously and have established procedures for considering comments or suggestions which are made. If there is any aspect of the service which you feel has not met your needs or require improvement, please contact us.

Customer care statement and service delivery

The Local Land Charges Section is committed to providing a quality service which is effective, efficient and responsive. The staff are polite and courteous at all times and wear ID badges for ease of identification.

The aim of the Local Land Charges Section is to assist the Council in meeting its aims particularly as regard to strengthening and diversifying the local economy and protecting and improving our environment.

Performance monitoring

The Local Land Charges Section aims to meet, and in most cases exceed, the standards set by the Audit Commission of completing standard searches within 10 working days.

Performance is monitored monthly within the section and published within the Council’s Annual Best Value Performance Plan.

Performance appraisals, one to one sessions and ongoing training programmes ensure that the Local Land Charges staff have the skills to deliver the Section’s targets for the coming year. Our target is to process 100% of all searches in 3 to 5 working days.

Expedited search service

An expedited search received before 11am in any working day will be processed and completed by 5pm the same working day.

To use the service you should:

  • submit the search on the LLC1 and CON29 forms before 11am
  • enclose the expedited search fee
  • clearly state that the search is to be expedited

CON29O and additional enquiries may be submitted at the same time as the standard search. Although they are not at present covered by our express search guarantee, we are able to process these at the same time.