Practice Guide 41 – Developing estates – registration
Supplement 5 – Detailed plan requirements and surveying specification – guidance for surveyors
Updated: October 2011
This edition of the guide replaces the September 2010 edition. Section 2.1 has been added to clarify how you can avoid having plans rejected due to a reduction in size.
Scope of this guide
This supplement gives information and advice relating to the technical specification of any plan lodged with Land Registry. We have aimed this supplement at developers, their legal advisers and surveyors. You should interpret references to 'you' accordingly.
This supplement provides information and advice relating to the technical specification of any plan lodged with Land Registry for the purposes of:
estate boundary approval.
estate plan approval.
To meet the developer's and Land Registry's requirements it is important that the plans you lodge satisfy all the criteria outlined in this supplement. Land Registry is always happy to consider any special circumstances that might apply to a particular development and discuss the best way forward.
2 Plan specification
You can see examples of a typical title plan and estate layout plan below.
The plan must clearly show the scale and orientation and be drawn to the scale quoted thereon. The preferred scale is 1/500 although 1/1250 may be satisfactory if details of the layout including individual plot boundaries can be shown clearly. However, where the boundaries are intricate or complex, such as a boundary within a building, a larger scale may be necessary.
Plans marked 'For Identification only' or 'Do not scale from this drawing' or any similar phrase are not acceptable.
Plans, which bear a statement of disclaimer intended to comply with the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991, are similarly not acceptable.
You must base the plan on an accurate survey, plotted to the chosen scale. The accuracy must be within the plottable limits of the scale ie distances scaled from the plan between well defined points of detail should be accurate to within 0.3mm at map scale plus one part in one thousand of the distance measured. For land surveyors, this specification gives the following tolerances:
0.15+0.1 = 0.25m
0.375+0.1 = 0.475m
0.15+0.2 = 0.35m
0.375+0.2 = 0.575m
0.15+0.5 = 0.65m
0.375+0.5 = 0.875m
0.15+1.0 = 1.15m
0.375+1.0 = 1.375m
During the survey, you should site control stations in safe areas, thereby ensuring that the setting out of works and the final 'as built' survey are all based on the datum used for the original survey.
You must show any measurements in metric form.
You must show sufficient detail on the plan to enable us to relate the position of the proposed development to the boundaries of the land in the registered title or to other detail shown on the title plan. Therefore, you must ensure that detail immediately outside the external boundaries of the site is also shown on the plan.
The plan must clearly define the extent of each plot (including any separate parking spaces and garages) and show the number or reference identifying it. You must also precisely define the external boundaries of the plots so as to avoid any misinterpretation.
Where a property comprises more than one parcel (for example either a house plot with a separate garage or parking area or a flat with a separate garden) you must distinguish each parcel on the plan by means of a different number. If you give the same number to several parcels, difficulties of interpretation are likely to arise on an application for an official search of the register or inspection of the title plan. You can, however, describe the parts by separate references each of which could comprise the same plot number but a different letter prefix. The prefix may signify the purpose of each part, for example, where the house plot is numbered 46, the garage could be shown as G46 and the parking space as P46.
The plan must show buildings in their correct position on their plots and any access drives and pathways which form plot boundaries.
Any parts of the estate which are to remain as common parts, to be used as amenities or rights of way maintained by either the developer or the local authority, should be clearly indicated.
If two or more floors of a purpose built block of flats are co-extensive and the layout and extents of the flats are identical, it usually suffices if you supply a plan of the single floor. The plan must show the reference number distinguishing each flat and state the floor level of each flat.
Where boundaries are of an intricate or detailed nature, such as where they pass through a building, a larger scale plan or inset plan may be necessary.
If the plans lodged for approval do not meet the above requirements they will be rejected.
2.1 Plans printed from PDF and lodged for approval
Land Registry is increasingly rejecting plans lodged for approval because they are not to the stated scale. We suspect that plans are being accurately produced and sent as a PDF to solicitors. When they are printed from the PDF they are often inadvertently reduced to fit the paper size, and are therefore no longer to the stated scale.
Software settings can be adjusted to print the plan without a reduction in size.
When printing PDF files, 'Page Scaling' on the 'Print' menu can default to the 'Shrink to Printable Area' option (or a similar option, depending on your software). The 'Preview' panel will show the reduction in size expressed as a percentage.
To print without a size reduction, select 'None' in the 'Page Scaling' drop-down list. Depending on the size of the original image, the size of the paper may need to be changed.
To change the paper size, select the 'Properties' button, select the 'Paper/Quality' tab and then select the size of paper required from the appropriate 'Paper Options' drop-down menu.
After 'Page Scaling' has been changed it will subsequently default to 'None' on that PC for the user who changed it. If a different PC is used 'Page Scaling' will again need to be changed.
3 Reconciliation with Ordnance Survey maps
Land Registry bases its plans on large scale Ordnance Survey maps. In the case of developing estates these are normally drawn at 1/1250 scale. A developer can, therefore, be confident that, where there is conformity between the Ordnance Survey map and the developer's estate layout plan, we will have little difficulty in relating the latter to our records.
In some circumstances (particularly where the Ordnance Survey map is at a scale 1/2500) a land surveyor may find differences between the site boundaries of the developer's survey and the corresponding boundaries shown on the Ordnance Survey map. Any significant differences, that are identified when an accurately surveyed site plan is checked against the Ordnance Survey map should be reported to the local Ordnance Survey Data Collection Field Office for investigation.
Land Registry revises its index map and the title plans of developer's registered titles to show new buildings, fences, roads and other physical features. We do this at intervals, as the information becomes available from surveys carried out by Ordnance Survey.
Ordnance Survey has a responsibility to ensure that they properly survey the final development for the purpose of updating the Ordnance Survey map. However, if a satisfactory "as built" survey has been carried out for the developer by a competent land surveyor, Ordnance Survey may be able to make use of it to avoid the duplication of effort and expense. In this way the developer will ensure that the registration of the development proceeds without survey problems and, subject to negotiation with Ordnance Survey, may be able to recoup part of the cost of the 'as built' survey.
4 Enquiries and comments
If you have a particular problem which is not covered by this supplement, please contact the relevant Land Registry office in advance of your application. If the matter is particularly complex, it may be better if you make your enquiry in writing.
Practice Guide 51 – Areas served by Land Registry offices is available free of charge from Customer Support (see Contact details) and gives a full list of areas served by each office. You can also find this information our website www.landregistry.gov.uk
If you have any comments or suggestions about our guides, please send them to:
Central Operations Group
1 Bedford Park
(DX 8888 Croydon 3)
You can obtain further copies of this and of all our guides free of charge from Customer Support (see Contact details) or you can download them from our website.
Land Registry advisory policy
We offer advice to our customers through our publications and Customer Support information and through the day-to-day handling of applications.
We provide factual information including official copies of registers, title plans and documents, searches and details of our forms and fees.
We provide procedural advice to explain how the land registration system works and how to make applications correctly. This includes:
- advice in advance of an application, where this is requested
- where an application is defective, advice as to the nature of the problem and what options, if any, are available to put it right
- an approval service for estate layout plans and certain other land registration documents.
There are limits to the advice that we will provide. We will not provide legal advice.
This means that:
- we will not approve the evidence to be produced in support of a registration application before we receive the application
- apart from procedural advice, we will not advise on what action to take
- we will not recommend a professional adviser but can explain how to find one.
We provide advice only about real cases, not about theoretical circumstances. We will not express a view on questions where the law is complex or unclear except where the question arises on a live registration application.
In providing this factual information and procedural advice we will:
- be impartial
- recognise that others may be affected by what we say
- avoid any conflict of interest.
For customer enquiries and to request this publication in an alternative format please contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0844 892 1111, or 0844 892 1122 for a Welsh-speaking service, from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. Calls cost 3p a minute on a BT standard tariff, in addition to the current set up/connection charge. Calls from other tariffs, service providers and mobile phones may cost more. We do not receive any revenue from these calls.
To obtain copies of this and all our other guides, free of charge:
- view/download guides in English and Welsh at www.landregistry.gov.uk
- contact Customer Support.
Information in this guide
The information in this publication is for the purpose of providing general guidance about Land Registry's procedures and policies. It is intended only as a guide and does not cover every situation that may arise. It also does not limit Land Registry's ability to use its discretion when appropriate to do so, within the land registration legislation.
Chief Land Registrar
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