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Ross Poldark and Mundic Degradation

10 April 2015

David French discusses the link between the BBC's Poldark and buying property in the South West.

Millions of BBC viewers are spending Sunday evenings in front of the television wondering if Ross Poldark is going to find copper in his Cornish mine. What the programme does not cover is what happens to the discarded mined rock which is extracted in his quest to find that elusive copper seam....

The answer is that the mining waste is now causing considerable headaches for property owners, their solicitors and surveyors located in the South West.

Many will be aware of the Mundic degradation problems associated with residential and commercial properties in Cornwall and certain parts of Devon. Sometimes called 'concrete cancer', mundic is a term that covers a range of potential property problems that occur in the South West as a result of the incorporation of reactive aggregates in concrete building blocks. 

These aggregates are normally mining wastes used in the construction of buildings prior to 1950. It is a requirement of the Council of Mortgage Lenders that buildings where mass or block concrete has been used anywhere in their construction undergo a Concrete Screening Test to establish whether the property is at risk from accelerated concrete degradation.

How Wrigleys can help

Solicitors at Wrigleys have been acting recently with property acquisitions and sales in Cornwall and Devon and it is clear this is a serious issue. Property values can be reduced by 50% and some lenders will not lend on a positive outcome to the testing procedure which is quite complex.

Wrigleys are in the process of producing an information document for clients involved with property in these counties.

If you would like a copy please email David French. We will be publishing it in mid summer after RICS have made an updated policy statement on the issue.


If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact David French or any member of the Wrigleys' Property team on 0114 267 5588.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors



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