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Plan the Plan

View profile for Bethan Blackburn
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There are many scenarios in which plans are required in property transactions – usually where part of the property is the subject of the transaction or a particular area of land needs to be indicated. For example: Indicating the extent of the area to be demised to a tenant; indicating an area of land to be transferred to a buyer or showing an accessway over which a right of way is to be granted to someone. The accuracy of a plan is often critical and it is therefore usually advisable for the plan to be professionally prepared, by an architect or surveyor.

We come across situations where an inaccurate plan has been registered in the past or incorrectly referenced in a transactional document more frequently than we would like. Such errors are likely to cause confusion and practical difficulties in the future. It may be the case that the transactional document needs to be corrected by a formal deed of variation, incurring additional costs.

It is therefore vital that plans and references to the plans are accurate and well planned. It is worth considering at an early stage whether a plan will be required for a particular transaction and, if so, whether the plan will need to be Land Registry compliant. Planning the plan ahead and arranging preparation of the plan sooner rather than later would be advisable, to prevent delaying the transaction and to allow time for any necessary tweaks to be made.

In cases where the particular transaction is to be registered at the Land Registry, the plan will usually need to be Land Registry compliant. In other words, the plan must meet certain criteria in order for the Land Registry to accept it for registration. A plan is more likely to be accepted by the Land Registry for registration if it:

  • is drawn accurately to scale, and states the applicable scale. The preferred scale is 1:1250 – 1:500 for urban properties such as a high street retail unit or industrial unit on an estate, and 1:2500 for rural properties such as fields and farms;
  • includes a bar scale, for ease of scaling and to mitigate issues with scanning or reproducing the plan at different page sizes;
  • is based on a scale of metric measurement;
  • clearly shows the orientation of the plan – usually by including a North point;
  • clarifies the general location of the property (or whatever area needs to be indicated) by showing sufficient detail of surrounding roads, junctions and other landmarks in the vicinity;
  • shows sufficient detail for the general location of the property/area to be identified on the Ordnance Survey map;
  • clearly shows the property or area to be indicated by clear coloured edging, hatching or shading;
  • is not marked “for identification only”, “do not scale from this drawing” or similar wording.

This blog is intended to provide general information only. If you are looking for advice on plans or commercial property advice generally, please call 01926 954694 and speak to a member of our team.