The Importance of Good Plans for Land Registry Applications

30th January 2017

When you are dealing with transactions involving a property it is common to submit various applications to the Land Registry. Whether you are making an application for registration or carrying out a search on the property, you will need to lodge a plan that accurately describes the property. This article highlights the importance of having a good plan that is compliant with the Land Registry’s requirements.

Why good plans are important

An obvious but key reason for submitting good quality plans is so that they can be used to accurately describe the land in a title. It is vital that the plans will identify the location and accurate extent of the land in any search or deed inducing registration. An important point to note is that the land must be identifiable on an Ordnance Survey map. Submitting compliant plans will lead to fewer rejections by the Land Registry and inevitably save time and money in an otherwise unavoidable process for land transactions.

Good quality plans could also play a crucial role in resolving any issues or questions regarding the extent of the land in a registered title. The title plan and register can only be as accurate as the pre-registration plans and deeds: if the pre-registration deeds contain poor plans then the risk is that the Land Registry plans will not reflect the full extent of the landholding. Accurate and good quality pre-registration deed plans can be used as evidence of the extent of the land or to show where rights over it exist should problems arise at a future date.

What makes a good plan?

The Land Registry has issued guidelines for preparing plans for making an application. A good quality plan is one that anyone can use with confidence that the land is identified clearly and accurately on the Ordnance Survey map.

The Land Registry has issued some general guidelines for a basic plan which:

  • must be drawn accurately to a stated scale. Preferred scares are:

o   1:1250 – 1:500 for urban properties

o   1:2500 for rural properties such as fields and farms;

  • shows its orientation (e.g. a north point);
  • shows sufficient detail to be identified on the Ordnance Survey map (i.e. boundaries, buildings etc.);
  • clarifies its general location by showing roads, road junctions or other landmarks;
  • is based on a scale of metric measurement;
  • includes a bar scale or states the scale at a stated print size eg “1:2500 at A3”.

When showing the boundaries and features of a property, the Land Registry has provided some further helpful guidance. The property should show:

  • the whole of the property including any garage, parking space, bin store or garden ground;
  • buildings in their correct (or intended) position;
  • access drives or pathways if they form part of property boundaries;
  • undefined boundaries accurately and where necessary, by reference to measurements;
  • measurements that correspond, so far as possible, to scaled measurements;
  • measurements in metres to two decimal places;
  • land and property clearly (e.g. edging, colouring or hatching);
  • all colours referred to in  an accompanying document, with the extent of the colouring clearly shown.

In summary the Land Registry is reliant on accurate and detailed information in order to draw up the Land Registry plans on registration. The emphasis is on solicitors and their clients to provide good quality information in a well-presented format. The investment of a little time and possibly money at an early stage to ensure that plans are accurate and clear can save a lot of time in the long run and avoid disputes. Land Registry compliant plans can be purchased online from various retailers including Pro-Map and Stanfords. They can then be marked up and used for Land Registry purposes.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article please contact Rebecca Dixon, Associate, on 0117 403 3587 or or Jason Lee, author of the article.

The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Any law quoted in this article is correct as at 27 January 2017. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances before any action is taken. Copyright © Murrell Associates Limited, January 2017.


Rebecca Dixon

T +44 (0)117 974 3283

F +44 (0)1872 278669


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