Practice Guide 72 – Development scheme
Updated: February 2011
This edition of the guide replaces the September 2010 edition. Amendments have been made as a result of a change of contact details.
Scope of this guide
This guide gives information about the registration of land in a development scheme. It is aimed at local authorities, companies, other corporate bodies and their legal advisers and you should interpret references to ‘you’ accordingly. Land Registry staff will also refer to it. This guide replaces Practice Guide 53 – Scheme titles.
When a local or other public authority, or a company or other corporate body, acquires a specified area of land in a piecemeal fashion over a period of time (for example, for a redevelopment programme), it may ask Land Registry to make arrangements to incorporate each parcel of land into a single registered title as it is acquired. This is called a ‘development scheme’.
1.1 Development schemes and scheme titles
Development schemes have taken the place of scheme titles, and are based on revised registration processes. Existing scheme titles that are in progress and remain active will continue to be processed as agreed with the developer.
Whether the development land is acquired compulsorily or voluntarily, Land Registry’s development scheme procedure offers a number of benefits.
2 Application for a development scheme
2.1 Preliminary consideration
You will need to supply Land Registry with all the relevant facts before a decision can be made as to whether a development scheme will be appropriate and what extent it will cover. Once you have established which Land Registry office will deal with the application (see section 4 Making initial contact and submitting applications), you should write to us as early as possible enclosing a plan identifying the total area that you are acquiring. You must also supply a copy of any relevant compulsory purchase order. Your letter should:
To ensure the successful operation of the development scheme, it is essential that you intend to acquire the properties within a reasonable time. The title to the land to be acquired may be wholly registered, wholly unregistered or a mixture of both.
We will register leasehold interests and rentcharges within the development scheme separately (see section 2.4 Leasehold and rentcharge acquisitions).
The success of the procedure depends upon careful planning in the first stages. After you have supplied us with the necessary basic information, we will normally ask to meet with you. If we decide to go ahead with the scheme, then it is essential that we liaise closely. You must make us aware immediately of any problems that arise and of any change in your development plans.
2.2 Finalising arrangements
If we decide that the development scheme procedure can be used, we will ask you to supply one or more large-scale plans based on the latest edition of the Ordnance Survey map (normally at a scale of 1:1250 in urban areas and 1:2500 in rural areas) showing by coloured edging the location and extent of all the land intended to be acquired.
The scheme plans you supply must meet our requirements for the identification of land to be registered – these are set out in Practice Guide 40 – Land Registry plans. If you hold mapping data in a compatible form, we may be able to arrange to import the plans electronically.
We will then supply you with a reference number that must be quoted in all applications, enquiries and correspondence that relate to the development scheme. If the area is large, we will discuss with you the subdivision of the extent to provide title plans at a manageable size. We will allocate a reference number for each part of the scheme that is to be separately registered.
We will ask you to provide an extract from the scheme plan on each application to show the extent of the land to be added, except in cases where an extract from the scheme plan is used as the plan to the deed inducing registration.
In addition, we may prepare a memorandum of understanding setting out the arrangements for the lodgement and processing of applications.
2.3 Registration of land within a development scheme
On receipt of the first application from you to register a parcel of land within the proposed development scheme (or within each part in the case of a subdivided scheme), we will allocate a title number. Subsequent additions will be made by amalgamation with this title.
2.4 Leasehold and rentcharge acquisitions
Where the superior interest has not already been acquired and registered, we will create separate titles for leasehold estates and rentcharges, and for estates to which different classes of registered title can be granted. If and when you acquire the superior interest, you should make an application to close any subordinate titles that have already been registered.
If appropriate evidence is available, you should also apply to upgrade possessory titles. See Practice Guide 42 – Upgrading the class of title.
2.5 Stopping-up orders
Where you have acquired the land on both sides of a road or way that is subject to a stopping-up order and intend to include the site of the road or way in the redevelopment, you should apply to add it to the development scheme. You should lodge the original or an official copy of the stopping-up order (including any plan annexed to it) to support the application, and we will retain this.
2.6 Restrictive covenants and easements
With every application for first registration, you should supply full particulars of all incumbrances affecting the land. This includes any restrictive covenants and easements subsisting at the date of the acquisition, even where the purchaser is a body with compulsory powers. We must note the existence of such third party rights on the register because, even if planning law authorises development and use of the land in breach of them, they are not normally extinguished and may become enforceable if the land ceases to be used for the purpose for which the purchaser had the power to acquire it.
We will omit restrictive covenants and easements from the register only if:
2.7 Completion of development scheme
When all the land has been acquired and added to the scheme, you should tell us:
Where required, you should also apply for the closure of any remaining leasehold or rentcharge titles.
We will monitor the progress of applications. We will not normally maintain development scheme arrangements if there are no applications to add land for a period of six months. If this happens, we will contact you to discuss closure.
3 Official copy applications
Official copies of both the register and title plan are available during the time the development scheme is in operation, using form OC1 – see Practice Guide 11 – Inspection of the register and applications for official copies.
4 Making initial contact and submitting applications
If you are unsure which Land Registry office you should discuss your application with, details of the areas covered by each office can be found in Practice Guide 51 – Areas served by Land Registry offices, available on our website. Alternatively, you can telephone Customer Support – see Contact details.
If the development scheme will constitute a large-scale application, you should initially contact the Bulk Applications Team at Plymouth Office on 0300 006 6286 or 0300 006 6106. A large-scale application is one that affects:
To apply to register the conveyance or transfer in favour of the purchaser, use form FR1 for unregistered land or AP1 for registered land in the usual way. No separate application form is needed for the addition of the land to the development scheme, but you must include a covering letter quoting the reference number we allocate and an extract from the scheme plan showing the land affected, except in cases where an extract from the scheme plan is used as the plan to the deed inducing registration.
The fee is payable in accordance with the current Land Registration Fee Order in respect of each acquisition. Payment should accompany the delivery of each application or each batch of applications sent as a single packet. Where appropriate, see also the guidance on fees given in Practice Guide 54 – Acquisition of land by general vesting declaration under the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Act 1981.
Please note that Land Registry may be unable to process applications that are incomplete or defective and your application will risk losing its priority if we have to return it to you – see Practice Guide 49 – Rejection of applications for registration for more information.
5 Enquiries and comments
If you have a particular concern that is not covered by this guide, please contact Land Registry – see Contact details. If the problem is particularly complex, it may be better if you make your enquiry in writing at the Land Registry office that will process your application.
If you have any comments or suggestions about our guides, please send them to:
Central Operations Group
(DX 8888 Croydon 3)
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 email@example.com 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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