Registers of Scotland page: development plan approval service; 2012 Act update; property database conference

The development plan approval (DPA) service is a pre-registration service that is designed to ensure that any title extent issues are identified and addressed prior to the submission of applications. This reduces both the risk and the cost for the developer, while still retaining the flexibility required to allow the developer to change the layout of a development to meet changing market conditions. The service is based on the submission of digital architect drawings, which must be geo-referenced to Ordnance Survey national grid co-ordinates.

A DPA application can be submitted at either of two stages: at land purchase stage, where the external boundaries of the site will be checked and confirmed against the Land Register title, or after planning permission has been obtained. The internal layout of the development – e.g. plot legal extent, roads, common driveways, open spaces, etc – can be submitted to facilitate deeds of conditions, advance notices of part, and applications for registration. This option eliminates the possibility of any paper deed plans being rejected at either advance notice of part or registration stage. It also provides reassurance to the purchasing solicitor and the lender.

A further benefit of submitting the internal layout of a development is that you do not have to submit a paper deed plan for an advance notice of part, nor for the registration itself. The keeper holds a digital version of the legal extent of each unit, and so a description of the subjects by reference to the DPA extent will suffice – for example: “All and whole that plot of ground edged red and marked plot number 31 of the development plan approved by the keeper for the development registered under ANG63461 on 1 December 2014.”

DPA is open to all new build properties – not just residential housing – and there is no minimum requirement on the size of the development. The keeper currently has 20 different developers actively using the service, as well as over 110 approved sites. These can be viewed at
From 1 April 2015, if the deed plan is provided electronically, we will undertake the initial analysis at no cost. To find out more, or to explore how the service can benefit you and your client, contact us at

2012 Act update

Our customer service centres and online services team have been very busy since the designated day, helping customers with their enquiries and capturing feedback on the new Act and the associated system changes. We have also undertaken a number of updates to the guidance we provide for advance notices, rejections and reports.

As with any large scale change, there have been some issues that have been brought to our attention and which we are working hard to resolve. Customer feedback is hugely important to Registers of Scotland. Mark Palmer, our head of customer experience, is heading up a project to collate all of the feedback received and will be working closely with customers to prioritise and resolve issues effectively.

Conference explores world-class database

The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Sheenagh Adams, will join Deputy First Minister John Swinney and a number of senior lawyers to discuss the creation of a world-class digital land and property information database for Scotland. The conference takes place at the National Galleries of Scotland on 10 March. For more information, visit 

The big changeover in numbers

Since the designated day, we have received just under 17,000 advance notice applications and over 4,500 reports requests.


Since 1 January, 90% of reports have been completed on the day that they were scheduled to go out.

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