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Agriculture: Land Ownership

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 30 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 9 October (WA 8-9), which indicated that 56.7 per cent of the land area of England and Wales is currently registered, whether the present level of accuracy, transparency and comprehensiveness of information on land ownership is of the same standard as the information now available online in the Domesday Book. [HL11]

The purpose of the public Land Register for England and Wales is to facilitate land transactions. On behalf of the Crown, Land Registry guarantees title to registered estates and interests in land. The register is dynamic and is continuously updated as land ownership is transferred.

The Domesday Book was a one-off valuation and survey covering England only south of the Tees and a few Welsh border settlements. As such it represents a snapshot only and the information gathered was never officially updated centrally.

In terms of accuracy, transparency and comprehensiveness, it is not possible to compare standards between the Land Register and Domesday Book because of the difference in purpose and coverage.