ADD389 Land Registry - Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
01 March 2016
Decision by: 
Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence

Executive summary

The GIS & Infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchase a number of datasets on behalf of the GLA each year. 

The National Polygon Service used in combination with the Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data provides for the first time a London-wide picture of land ownership.

No alternative suppliers 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 2016 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service from the Land Registry.



The Assistant Director approves:

•    Expenditure of up to £45,000 on the 2016 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service from the Land Registry; and

•    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 from the Land Registry as no alternative suppliers are available.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1.    The GIS & infrastructure team (within the Intelligence Unit) purchase and maintain a number of geographic data sets on behalf of the organisation, providing much better value for money than individual directorates buying their own data independently.

1.2.     Land Registry is a non-ministerial department that registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. 

1.3.     It is their 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 them 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.     Land Registry was created in 1862 and the work that they do is required under the Land Registration Act 2002 and the Land Registration Rules 2003. 

1.5.     The National Polygon Service contains three licensed, chargeable datasets. Each dataset is only available as part of the National Polygon Service (see section 5.1 for details). 

1.6.     Given the value of the proposed contract, GLA officers acknowledge that section 3.6 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (“Code”) requires that at least three quotations be sought for all contracts 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.  For the reasons set out below, GLA officers are of the view that this ground is applicable in this case.

1.7.     The exemption is being sought from the requirement of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code in relation to the awarding of a contract for services to the Land Registry, as no alternative suppliers are available as Land Registry is the only collector of such data by law. Alternative data sets from Land Registry are available, however they do not meet the GLA’s requirements as there is no link between the ownership boundary and owner’s details. 



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 schemes to be put together)

2.2.    The database and map layer will be used to replace the multiple individual site requests currently carried out. They would be particularly useful for exploratory phases of projects and when trying to identify development packages. 

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 requires this data including support for the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), London Plan, Witan modelling system, work of the Housing & Land team and the London Land Commission.  


Equality comments

The data will be available to help the GLA to deliver more affordable homes and deliver 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 after supply. 

4.2.    Possible risk – Missing tiles or tiles out of order. 
Mitigation – The supplier has their own Quality Assurance processes

4.3.    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities – The data will support 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. There is no financial impact of making the decision as it has already been profiled in the 2015/16 budget.

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


Financial comments

5. Finance Comments

5.1.     Approval is being sought for the GLA to incur expenditure of up to £ 45,000 on the 2016 Commercial & Corporate Ownership Data & National Polygon Service from the Land Registry.

5.2.        The cost will be fully funded from the existing 2015/16 Intelligence Unit budget (Witan GG.0220.090.) within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate. 




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’)






6.    Legal Comments 

6.1.    Sections 1 to 4 of this report indicate that:

6.1.1.    the decision requested of the assistant director, in accordance with the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (the “Code”), falls within the GLA’s statutory powers to do such things considered to further or which are facilitative of, conducive or incidental to the discharge of its general functions; and  

6.1.2.    in formulating the proposals in respect of which a decision is sought officers have complied with the GLA’s related statutory duties to:
•    pay due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people; 
•    consider how the proposals will promote the improvement of health of persons, health inequalities between persons and to contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom; and 
•    consult with appropriate bodies. 

6.2.    Section 3 of the Code requires the GLA to seek three or more written quotations in respect of the services required or call off the services required from an accessible framework. However, the assistant director may approve an exemption from this requirement under section 5 of the Code upon certain specified grounds. One of those grounds is a complete absence of competition. Officers have indicated in section 1 of this report that this ground applies, and that the proposed contract affords value for money.

On this basis the assistant director may approve the proposed exemption if satisfied with the content of this report.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

19th February 2016

Delivery Start Date [Data supplied]

22nd February 2016

Project Closure: [Data checking completed]

18th March 2016


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