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Land Registry moves towards ‘Lego’ approach

11/10/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

HM Land Registry has built a prototype for a new digital register and plans to populate it with data from existing sources as part of its move towards a ‘Lego’ approach.

Land Registry building sign

A blogpost from the agency has outlined the steps towards the next version of the register of land and property in England and Wales, saying it will take a new approach to provide information from legal documents in a more consistent and structured format.

It describes this as the Lego approach, saying it will ultimately make it easier for users to access the data.

This contrasts with the current ‘Tetris’ approach in which the data is semi-structured, with some entries set out in registers while others are filed in associated documents. This makes the information accessible but often requires that it is read and interpreted before being extracted.

Land Registry says it has built the prototype to learn about the data model, methods for identifying and extracting data from its deeds and documents, and spotting which relationships add value to the register.

The next stage will involve migrating data from current stores into the prototype with the aim of improving the automated processing of applications. Once this has been done, the agency will aim to migrate as much of the register as possible to the new format by 2022.

Demands

It has identified a number of demands for the new version, including that it is composed of computer-readable data in a single, logical store, and that it makes it possible to identify party, place and interests uniquely, to improve the integrity of the register and enable simple searches.

In addition, it has to make it possible to manage relationships within and between titles, and include digital title plans.

“This work will enable much of HM Land Registry’s ambitions for 2022, as detailed in our Business Strategy,” the blog says. “An enhanced Land Register will improve our ability to automate processes and enable us to provide more specific services to customers.

“As the data becomes more structured, this will facilitate new and currently unattainable services while supporting our counter-fraud work.”

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