Registers’ Development Plan Approval service has been recognised with an award for supporting the new-build property market with assurances on title

 In May this year we were delighted to receive the Homes for Scotland “Supporting Organisation of the Year” award. We were recognised for the contribution we are making in supporting the Scottish new-build property market through our innovative Development Plan Approval (DPA) service. 

RoS is in the midst of an ambitious business transformation programme and by embracing a collaborative working approach, new products and services are currently being designed with the consumer, not just for them. DPA is just such a service. It was developed to serve the needs of the consumer and continuously refined in collaboration with a range of stakeholders.
DPA ensures that any title extent issues for new developments are identified and resolved before any individual house plots are sold. In so doing it streamlines the conveyancing and registration process and reduces risk
and costs for developers and their professional advisers. The service also improves marketability and speeds up the registration process. 
Crucially, this means that prospective purchasers and their solicitors can transact safe in the knowledge that they will acquire a good legal title to the house they are buying.
Identification of potential issues before they become problematic and early engagement with consumers have resulted in significant improvements in rejection levels and quicker, smoother processing which has led to substantial cost savings for developers. Furthermore, by not requiring submission of a paper deed plan, the DPA service offers significant additional cost and time savings for developers as well as for solicitors and house buyers.
DPA uses digital data so we can quickly process plot sales, whereas a development that doesn’t use DPA can be restricted by things like waiting on Ordnance Survey data. Any such delay means that there may be existing issues relating to extent or boundaries that don’t transpire until much later in the development stages, further delaying the progress of the development. 
One integrated team deals with all aspects of a submission. Customers have a named individual throughout the lifetime of a development, and this allows the process to be flexible. Even after submission a development layout can be amended, with no limits on how many times it can be submitted or how many plots are involved.
Added value
In judging our submission earlier this year, the judging panel noted that the award was designed to celebrate the vital role that Homes for Scotland’s associate members play in the organisation’s work, as well as the value they add to the wider industry. We were pleased that they described RoS’s submission as “outstanding” and that DPA is recognised as being a real asset, not least because it was created as a response to evidence that new purchasers were having serious problems in obtaining clear titles to their new homes – something that was frustrating for purchasers, and generated bad publicity for developers. 
Additionally, after the physical development stage of the process, we are then able to accept draft deeds of conditions and draft house plot styles. These form the basis of the model title early on, leading to a more streamlined process with less chance of rejection at the registration stage and greater certainty to all of our customers, whether they are developers, solicitors or purchasers.
While we are proud of our achievement and were pleased with the positive feedback from our industry partners, we are by no means resting on our laurels. We will continue to innovate and work with all of our partners to ensure that we continue to shape and deliver services that provide the support needed, from development through to completion. 
As uptake of our DPA service continues to grow, we will continue to listen to feedback, and shape services fit for the 21st century. 
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