ADD2101 Land Registry - Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
09 May 2017
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

The GIS & Infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchases a number of geographic datasets on behalf of the GLA each year.  These datasets are used to create data-specific maps to help policy and delivery staff to analyse and gain insight from location based data.
One such dataset is provided by the National Polygon Service, which shows (in map form) the indicative shape and position of each boundary of a registered title for land and/or property in England and Wales. When used in combination with the Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data, the GIS & Infrastructure team is able to provide a London-wide visualisation of land ownership.
No alternative suppliers of such geographic datasets are available as Land Registry is the only collector of such data by law. 
The decision seeks approval for expenditure of up to £45,000 for the purchase of 2017 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service from the Land Registry for use by the GLA.


That the Assistant Director of Intelligence approves:

1.    Expenditure by the GLA of up to £45,000 for the provision of the 2017 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service under a contract for services between the GLA and the Land Registry; and
2.    An exemption from section 4.1 of the GLA Contracts and Funding Code to seek a call-off from a suitable framework or undertake a formal tender process to source this content at a value of up to £45,000 from the Land Registry as no alternative suppliers are available and there is therefore a complete absence of competition.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA GIS & Infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchase and maintain a number of geographic data sets on behalf of the GLA, providing much better value for money than individual directorates within the GLA buying their own data independently. Once purchased, the data is used within the mapping programme to create a visualisation of the information provided. By associating data with specific geographies we are able to create targeted policies and identify locations of specific interest regarding policy areas e.g. Air Quality.

1.2    HM Land Registry (“Land Registry”) is a non-ministerial government department that registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. 

1.3    Land Registry is under a legal duty to keep and maintain the Land Register, where more than 24 million titles - the evidence of ownership - are documented. Individuals or organisations who become landowners or own interests in land must apply to the Land Registry to:

•    register unregistered land
•    register a new owner of a registered property following a sale
•    register an interest affecting registered land, such as a mortgage, a lease or a right of way.

1.4    The National Polygon Service contains three licensed, chargeable datasets. Each dataset is only available as part of the National Polygon Service (see section 2.5 for details). 

1.5    Given the value of the proposed contract, GLA officers acknowledge that section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (“Code”) requires the GLA to seek a call-off from a suitable framework where possible or, if not, undertake a formal tender process to procure such services in relation to all contracts for goods or services with a value above £10,000.  However, section 5 of the Code provides that an exemption from that requirement may be approved upon certain specified grounds, including where there is a complete absence of competition.  

1.6    Exemption is being sought from the requirements under section 4.1 of the Code in relation to the awarding of a contract for services to the Land Registry as no alternative suppliers are available because Land Registry is by law the only collector of the data required by the GLA. GLA officers are therefore of the view that this section 5 ground is applicable in this instance.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    For the first time, the database of land ownership has been linked to plots of land. This allows it to be used in a number of ways including:

•    Click on any site and see owner name and details, type of organisation, type of tenure
•    Create a colour map of different owner types across London
•    Search for all land owned by a particular organisation (or group of organisations)
•    Overlay potential GLA sites and see who owns the neighbouring land (allowing larger development schemes to be put together).

2.2    Traditionally, information about land ownership has only been available following a series of individual requests to Land Registry, often made through a solicitor. In contrast, the database and map layer allow a full, London-wide picture of land ownership to be created. This is particularly useful for exploratory phases of development projects as it helps identify the immediate neighbours, owners of land which may be needed for access and all sites owned by a potential partner. 

2.3    The data will be used in Geographical Information System (“GIS”), desktop publishing (such as Adobe Illustrator) and extracts used in presentations / reports.
2.4    The GLA has several policy and project areas that require this data including support for the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (“SHLAA”), London Plan, work of the Housing & Land team and the London Land Commission.  

2.5    Please find below a breakdown of each dataset, its functions and its respective cost.




National Polygon Service (monthly refresh, Level 2 use)

  • National Polygon dataset (shows the indicative shape and position of each boundary of a registered title for land and/or property in England and Wales. Every title whether freehold or leasehold has at least one index polygon, mapped against Ordnance Survey’s large scale map MasterMap)
  • Title Descriptor dataset (describes the legal interest(s) that have been recorded against freehold and leasehold estates - property and/or land)
  • Title Number and UPRN Look Up dataset (UPRNs provide a comprehensive, complete and consistent identifier throughout a property’s life. Cross-referenced with title numbers they enable files to be matched and merged with datasets from different sources to create valuable insight)


Commercial Corporate Ownership Data (monthly refresh, Level 2 use)

Details of owner and owner type (for instance ‘Housing Association’)
























2.6    The GLA has obtained value for money by selecting the most appropriate supply level, purchasing once for organisation-wide usage and due to the high value of the development projects that the data supports (often running into many £m) in comparison with the cost of the data.


Equality comments

The GLA is subject to public sector equality duties. Overall, no adverse impacts have been identified as a result of entering into a contract for services with the Land Registry for use of the above described geographic data sets. 

The data provided will be available to help the GLA in its delivery of more affordable homes and more effective development schemes for Londoners.

Other considerations

4.1    Possible risk – Data not delivered. 
Mitigation – data will be supplied as a single package, payment made by the GLA after supply of the datasets by the Land Registry. 

4.2    Possible risk – Missing records or incorrect owner information. 
Mitigation – The Land Registry has its own Quality Assurance processes in relation to the datasets.

4.3    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities – The data will support the GLA’s work in Town Centres, around transport hubs, major developments and outer London.

4.4    Impact assessments and consultations – The impact of not making this purchase is that decisions will not be able to be made or will be made based on out-of-date or incomplete information because we will not have access to the relevant, up to date map information. There is no financial impact of making the decision as it has already been profiled in the 2017/18 GLA budget.

Consultation took place with the key user groups including representatives from the main GLA teams (Intelligence, Planning and Housing).

Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £45,000 on the 2017 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service from the Land Registry.

The costs will be funded from the Intelligence Unit’s budget for 2017-18. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

24th April 2017

Delivery Start Date [Data supplied]

26th April 2017

Project Closure: [Data checking completed]

28th April 2017


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