Registers of Scotland page: a reminder of the advantages of the development plan approval service, now past its first anniversary

The development plan approval (DPA) service is a free pre-registration service offered by the keeper which is designed to ensure that any title extent issues are identified and addressed prior to the build taking place. This reduces both the risk and the cost for the developer, and provides reassurance to the house plot purchasing proprietor, and their solicitor and lender.

To make use of the service, the developer must have a registered Land Register title or a pending Land Register application, and the site must be going for imminent development. If the land is not registered in the Land Register, an application for registration can be made through a voluntary registration. 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 land purchase stage where the external boundaries of the site will be checked and confirmed against the Land Register title. A second option is after planning permission has been obtained. The internal layout of the development, for example the plot legal extent, roads, common driveways, open spaces, etc, can be submitted to facilitate deed 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.

A further benefit in 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 or for the registration itself. The keeper holds a digital version of the legal extent of each unit, 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 ANG123456 on 1 December 2014.”

Size doesn’t matter

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 developer’s layout can be changed as necessary, as long as the change does not impinge on any rights – exclusive or common – which have already been conveyed.

PDFs showing the approved sites are available from our website and can be viewed by purchasing solicitors at 


Benefits of DPA 

  • Certainty of title
  • Any extent issues are identified before the build takes place
  • Provides reassurance to purchasing proprietor, solicitor, and lender
  • Removes risk of paper deed plans from being rejected
  • Option to not provide paper deed plans for individual properties

Plans for KIR to be announced in the spring

The consultation on how keeper-induced registration (KIR) will be used to complete the Land Register is now closed. During November, the Land Register completion team, along with policy colleagues, held seven workshops across the country to discuss the proposals in the consultation document. Around 120 people attended the events and there were interesting discussions on some of the proposals. Two topics that were of particular interest were how burdens should be documented in a KIR title, and how we communicate with solicitors and homeowners throughout the process.

We are currently collating all the responses to the consultation and they will be used to inform the final proposals going forward. Our goal is to publicise the plans for KIR this spring and begin implementing KIR from summer 2016, and we will keep you posted on developments going forward.

The Author
If you would like to find out more or explore how the service can benefit you and your client, contact us at For more information on the KIR consultation, and to keep up to date on progress, please visit 
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