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Land Registry

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his most recent estimate is of the number of deeds and documents held by the Land Registry. (283528)

The Land Registry estimates that the number of documents it holds is in excess of 122 million (with an estimated 747 million pages). This figure includes documents held in both paper and electronic form.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many original deeds and documents have been destroyed by the Land Registry since 28 February 2009. (283530)

In accordance with Rules 203 and 204 of the Land Registration Rules 2003 the Land Registry has destroyed approximately 5.5 million deeds and documents since 28 February 2009. The destruction of these documents results from a decision to store records electronically rather than physically. The Land Registry holds a large number of documents in electronic format. This has allowed the creation of a service for professional customers to view and download these documents online, and speeded up the services available to the general public.

Register related documents are managed with the electronic register and are within the scope of the Land Registry's IT security measures, which are externally accredited. This includes a requirement that the Land Registry:

Systematically examines its information security risks, taking account of the threats, vulnerabilities and impacts;

Designs and implements a coherent and comprehensive suite of information security controls and/or other forms of risk treatment (such as risk avoidance or risk transfer) to address those risks that it deems unacceptable; and

Adopts an overarching management process to ensure that the information security controls continue to meet its information security needs on a continuing basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of land and property registrations overseen by the Land Registry took place solely by electronic means in each year since 2003. (283531)

The information prior to September 2007 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. I will, however, be able to provide the number of electronic applications received by Land Registry since 2007. I will write to the hon. Member with this information and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of original records which will be destroyed by the Land Registry in 2009-10. (283532)

No estimate has been made of the number of original records that will be destroyed by the Land Registry in 2009-10. Figures are available for documents destroyed to date in 2009-10 and are as follows:

April 2009: 349,375

May 2009: 334,008

June 2009: 401,739.

The destruction of these documents results from a decision to store records electronically rather than physically. The Land Registry holds a large number of documents in electronic format. This has allowed the creation of a service for professional customers to view and download these documents online, and has speeded up the services available to the general public.

Register-related documents are managed with the electronic register and are within the scope of the Land Registry's IT security measures, which are externally accredited. This includes a requirement that the Land Registry:

Systematically examines its information security risks, taking account of the threats, vulnerabilities and impacts;

Designs and implements a coherent and comprehensive suite of information security controls and/or other forms of risk treatment (such as risk avoidance or risk transfer) to address those risks that it deems unacceptable; and

Adopts an overarching management process to ensure that the information security controls continue to meet its information security needs on a continuing basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate he has made of the number of deeds and documents held by the Land Registry of which there is no paper original. (283533)

As of 1 July 2009 the Land Registry estimates that it holds 31,375,788 documents in electronic format (where there is no paper original). This figure includes the full range of documents and is not limited to traditional legal deeds such as transfer, leases and conveyances. Also included are other documents that are lodged by customers in support of their applications.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many requests were received by the Land Registry between 13 October 2003 and 12 October 2008 for the return of original documents on which entry is or was founded. (283534)

The Land Registry estimates that it received 6,285 applications for the return of documents between 13 October 2003 and 12 October 2008. As a result some 2,916 original documents were returned to applicants. The remainder of requests were either for documents that had already been returned, were not held by Land Registry or were not available for statutory reasons.