Agriculture Bill

Written evidence submitted by the Royal Town Planning Institute (AB67)


Proposed amendment to Agriculture B ill: compulsory registration of land claiming public payments .


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Proposed amendment to require registration with the Land Registry

1. The RTPI is proposing a simple amendment to the Agriculture Bill currently passing through parliament. It would require all land for which public payments will be claimed to be registered with the Land Registry.

2. The Government has set a target for comprehensive land registration by 2030 [1] , however to date almost 15% of land remains unregistered in England and Wales. [2] Land registration is extremely important for a number of reasons, including facilitating strategic development, developing environmental management at a landscape scale, and transparency. In order to successfully manage land use we need to know who owns it. Most landowners register their land without compulsion as there are a number of advantages to doing so. However, in order to achieve comprehensive registration, a number of ‘triggers’ will be needed to bring forward the remaining land.

3. The Agriculture Bill provides a great opportunity to provide one such trigger, which could have a big impact. The vast majority of remaining unregistered land is likely to be rural, and much of it is likely to be in receipt of farm public payments. If landowners had to register their land to claim public payments this would likely lead to a lot of remaining land coming forward. There is also a clear public interest case that there should be transparency regarding the ownership of land for which public money is being claimed.

4. Thus we propose the following amendment to Part 1, Chapter 2 of The Agriculture Bill (HC Bill 266):

All land involved in a claim for financial assistance must be registered with Her Majesty’s Land Registry.

November 2018


Prepared 20th November 2018