Established in 1862, The HM Land Registry has now registered more than 25.2 million titles. In 2017, remarkably, a Northern Powergrid electricity substation in Gateshead became the 25 millionth title to be entered in the Land Register.
HM Land Registry is dedicated to becoming the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. The body aims to achieve comprehensive registration of land and property in England and Wales by 2030 – currently, more than 85% of the land mass in England and Wales is registered.
One of their key targets is working with the Highways England to register more than 1,000 miles of road and rail networks by 2030 to complete the register. Highways England, which looks after England’s motorways and major A roads, have a vast amount of unregistered land. Using the latest digital technology, they will submit documentation into a secure cloud platform as plans are put in place to eradicate paper records in favour of a bespoke electronic product that meets Highways England needs.
Graham Farrant, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar confirm HM Land Registry has had a successful year. He said:“We delivered 10 of our 11 key performance indicators with record results for casework quality, colleague engagement and leadership. The one key performance indicator we missed was our speed target for registering new titles, but we hit our speed targets for all other types of applications and our information services.
We also made significant improvements to our processes for complex cases and reduced our timescales significantly, meaning we only narrowly missed this year’s target and are well on course to deliver our target for next year. Our customers have recognised our improvements with a 92% satisfaction rating, all while we are delivering new data products and digital initiatives to support our transformation.”
Graham Farrant refers to many highlights in the past year, from the many awards they have received for their work and the first mortgage being digitally signed plus, their apprentices graduating, who he believes will be the future of the organisation. One of Mr Farrant’s main highlight was launching their five-year Business Strategy.
Mr Farrant talks about the highlights of the strategy. He said: “We have a very clear remit set out in our strategy and our main focus will be to ensure we are brilliant at the basics of land registration, but we are also leading the industry through new digital services such as Local Land Charges, pioneering research through Digital Street and the release of new datasets. We want to work alongside our partners and stakeholders to move forward on adopting digital technology to change the way people transact with property.
Our profile is definitely growing. Whether it is requests for media interviews, speaking opportunities or invitations for wider collaboration across the property sector, it certainly seems that our aims and ambitions are more widely known and understood than ever before. I have even had stakeholders quoting our ambition back to me as they suggest further changes that we could support across the conveyancing industry.
People are excited to work with us, and for us, because we have a truly exciting agenda they want to be part of.”
Clearly, HM Land Registry is entering a digital era and their digital aspirations are being put into practice. Director of Digital, Data and Technology, John Abott, further adds. He said: “It has been a remarkable year for HM Land Registry and it is clear our digital transformation is well underway.
Our digital aspirations span the entire organisation and are key to the delivery of our Business Strategy. From launching new discovery projects and recruiting expert colleagues to registering the first digital mortgage and exploring the possibilities of machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA), we have started to deliver on our vision of a fully digital land registration service.”
To read the Gov.uk’s full performance report on HM Land Registry click here.