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Consultation exercise launched on proposed new title location plan service
HM Land Registry today issued a consultation paper seeking views on proposals to introduce a new title location plan service to supplement the current search of the Index Map (SLM) procedures.
The Land Registry maintains an "Index Map" from which the title numbers of all registered land can be identified. The purpose of an official Search of the Index Map is to find out whether or not a piece of land is registered and, if so, its title number and whether the title is freehold or leasehold. It forms an essential first step in the investigation of title in land transactions.
The Registry, through its Index Map search facility, provides details of registered titles located within an area identified by an applicant on a map or by postal address. Currently the service is free of charge if ten title numbers or fewer are revealed.
The current SIM process simply lists the title numbers within the search area. On payment of a small fee applicants can then obtain copies of definitive filed plans for the title numbers listed.
However, simply having a set of relevant filed plans does not always make it easy for the applicant to identify how the different pieces ("parcels") of registered land fit together.
For a fee, the proposed new title location plan service will show on a plan, or series of plans, how these pieces fit together. Based on the Ordnance Survey Map, each plan can show the relative locations of between two and ten registered titles.
Acting Chief Land Registrar, Ted Beardsall said:
Last year the Land Registry stopped issuing explanatory plans with the result of an Index Map search. Many customers told us that they regretted this change and asked us either to reinstate the previous practice or to provide an alternative service, which will provide plan based information about the location of registered titles.
The consultation document, published today, explains fully why we no longer supply explanatory plans with Index Map Search results and proposes a new service to meet the needs expressed by customers. This new service has been designed to give a much quicker, better targeted and more helpful result.
Before we make any recommendations to the Lord Chancellor, we are anxious to have the views of those who have an interest in the matter and would like to invite those interested to respond to the consultation in writing by 31 December 1999.
Initially the fee for the proposed title location plan service, which must reflect the actual cost of providing such a labour-intensive service, would be set at a minimum of £40 covering five titles, with each additional title covered costing £8.
The Registry would continue to handle queries on the extent of individual titles, free of charge, through its correspondence service.
Views are sought on the issues raised in the consultation paper and on the specific matters it contains in writing by 31 December 1999 to Linda Chamberlain, HM Land Registry, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH, Fax: 0171 917 5966; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copies of the consultation paper, which is also published in Welsh, are available from the same address, or by telephoning 0171 917 8888, extension 4340. The consultation paper is also available at: www.landreg.gov.uk