Editorial

Land Registry: ‘We’ve started our digital transformation’

Land Registry

Posted 19 July 2017 by

HM Land Registry says its started an ambitious digital transformation journey towards becoming the world’s leading land registry in terms of speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.

This will include helping to identify areas that “may be suitable for housing” through the aim of comprehensive registration of land in England and Wales.

The claims come from its just-published annual accounts and report, available here, the first since it was announced by the government that the agency should remain in the public sector and focus on becoming a digital and data-driven business (in the 2016 Autumn Statement).

“To our many stakeholders, I would ask you to join, support and partner with us as we explore how through digital technology we can work together to make conveyancing quicker, cheaper and simpler for everyone,” its Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar, Graham Farrant, stated today.

HM Land Registry aims to begin the comprehensive registration of land in England and Wales, with an initial focus on prioritising public sector land in order to provide an early indication of the scale of potential sites for house building and associated infrastructure needs.

Alongside the improved registration of land, the transformation will also involve working with the private sector to research and test new digital registers, potentially exploring blockchain, a plan HM Land Registry is calling ‘Digital Street’.

By changing how it works internally and moving to become a more digitally data-driven organisation, HM Land Registry says it wants to try to meet the changing needs of its customers, testing new ideas with them that could make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper.

Responding to a government commitment to drive innovation in the digital economy, HM Land Registry will also open up more of its datasets externally and across government to support infrastructure development, financial security, tax collection, law enforcement and national security.

“Alongside the key role we already play in the property market, our transformation will help support the UK in developing a vibrant and innovative digital economy,” added Farrant.

“Our plans not only involve the digitisation of our existing services but how, through new digital technology, we can help to potentially release even more value from the Land Register.”

A government department established in 1862, HM Land Registry is an executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales.

With the largest transactional property database of its kind, detailing more than 24 million titles, the body is said by the government to underpin the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.