Controversial plans to expand the powers of the Land Registry in the run-up to part-privatisation received government backing today.
A section of the new Infrastructure Bill, announced in the small print of the Queen's Speech, will enable the register to take over from local authorities the running of the local land charges register.
The move, widely criticised by local authorities and conveyancers, is seen as part of a process of "fattening up" the registry for part privatisation. Briefing notes for the Infrastructure Bill suggest that this is on the agenda, despite the fact that the government has not yet responded to a consultation conducted earlier this year on converting the bulk of the register into a "service delivery company"
Briefing notes published buy the Cabinet Office reveal that the Infrastructure Bill 'would transfer statutory responsibility for the local land charges register and delivery of local land charges searches to the Land Registry' as well as 'supporting the delivery of digital services and extend Land Registry's powers to enable it to provide information and register services relating to land and other property'.
The changes will require amendments to the Land Registry Act 2002.
The bill will also simplify the process of selling off public sector land.