Government consults on data on land control

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published a call for evidence on its proposals to improve the transparency of contractual mechanisms, such as land options, used to exercise control over land. It seeks views on proposals to require additional data from the beneficiaries of certain types of interests in land – rights of pre-emption, options and estate contracts.

HM Land Registry (HMLR) says it is committed to registering all publicly owned land by 2025 and says it aims to achieve comprehensive registration by 2030. However, it finds data on the control of land limited. This call for evidence sets out proposals to increase transparency of contractual arrangements used to exercise control over the buying or selling of land.

The government’s aim is to improve the ability of local communities to play an informed role in the development of their neighbourhoods and support the government’s efforts to encourage more companies to enter the house building market. This feeds into the new Planning for the Future white paper which seeks to make the planning system more democratic, dynamic and open.

Government considers better data on land ownership and control essential to achieve its vision, improve the development process and increase the public’s understanding of who exercises control over land.

The proposed increases in the transparency of contractual arrangements used to control the buying or selling of land may concern some beneficiaries of such arrangements.

This consultation closes on 30 October 2020 and we encourage those with an interest in this matter to respond directly or send your comments to Property@LawSociety.org.uk by 24 August so that they can be considered for the Law Society’s response.