llcconference2015 090Creating a single digital register for Local Land Charges will bring the strategic investment in the service which has been lacking in the past, delegates at Land Registry’s first national conference on the initiative were told.

Representatives of local authorities, search companies and potential suppliers were briefed at the event on Land Registry’s progress towards taking over the role of sole registering authority.

Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant, pictured (second left) during a question and answer session, said the programme was an opportunity to make a real difference to the quality of the service.

The conference reflected a change in thinking from whether the creation of a single digital register would happen to “how and when and what is the process going to be?”, he said.

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The delegates learned that:

  • the migration of Local Land Charges data from local authorities to Land Registry will begin in late 2017
  • the cost of the programme will be met from Land Registry reserves and be paid back through fees
  • under current estimates the initial fee for a search will be £25, lower than the current average, until the cost of the programme has been covered after which it will drop to £4.60
  • the maximum turnaround time for searches will be two days but in most cases it is anticipated it will be much faster
  • the benefit of the new service to the economy in terms of fee savings to customers will be £80.9 million over the first 10 years and £30 million a year subsequently.

The Land Registry project team is currently completing a data collection exercise in local authorities which provide the service at present.

Local Government Association Corporate Legal Adviser Thelma Stober said in her presentation to the Nottingham conference that the relationship between Land Registry and local authorities had improved a great deal recently.

“We want to make sure we work collaboratively with our members and with Land Registry to make sure we get this right,” she said.


Gavin Curry
By Gavin Curry,
Editor at HM Land Registry