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Slow progress migrating land charge data

By Monidipa Fouzder

HM Land Registry remains optimistic about efforts to reform land charge data to make the conveyancing process less stressful – despite acknowledging that the work is going slower than expected.

In 2018 Land Registry began work migrating local land charges data held by 326 local authorities in England to a central, digital database. It said at the time that ‘over the coming year’ it would be working with 26 local authorities in England to migrate their records. However, Peterborough City Council will be only the eighth local authority to move to the digital service when its data is transferred on 31 January.

A spokesperson for Land Registry said: ‘Migrating local authorities has been slower than we initially anticipated… By the end of this financial year we expect to have 15 local authorities officially signed up to the new register. Each local authority’s LLC data differs greatly in format, standard and volume so there is no “one size fits all” approach, or timeline, to transforming and migrating the data.’

In a blog to mark the first anniversary of the register going live, Karina Singh, Land Registry’s director of transformation, wrote last year that development of the register and its first year of service ‘has had its ups and downs’.

Land Registry told the Gazette that it is currently assessing and analysing data from over 100 authorities, which will help it to understand the timelines and costs involved with completing the project. It is working with 20 local authorities to prepare them for migrating their data to the national service during the year.

Plans for Land Registry to take over the management of the local land charges register were announced in 2014, despite overwhelming opposition in a public consultation.

(Courtesy: Law Gazette Society)