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Land: Registration

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of maps issued have been returned due to error during the course of the 2009 update of the Rural Land Register; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of work arising from maps returned due to error; and if he will make a statement. (302807)

[holding answer 1 December 2009]: The Mapping Update project was undertaken to update the land information held on the Rural Land Register (RLR) by improving the quality of data and providing farmers with an accurate and up-to-date record of their land in respect of subsidy claims.

As at 27 November 2009, more than 107,000 maps have been sent to farmers and we have received 44,360 requests for changes. This represents some 41 per cent. of the maps issued and remains within the project's expectations.

The cost of making the requested edits and re-issuing maps is included in the overall RLR programme cost of £21.4 million was set out in my answer to the hon. Member for Cotswold (Mr. Clifton-Brown) 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 1167W.

While the latest Ordnance Survey data and recent aerial photography have been used, the maps will not show any changes to the land carried out more recently by farmers and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) ask farmers therefore to confirm that the maps are correct, or what changes are necessary.

Each year the Rural Payments Agency receives about 25,000 business as usual requests for land changes from farmers. In 2009 many of these will be included in the Mapping Update requests.