A one-stop-shop to provide property information is on course to open early in 2001 with the award of a contract to operate the ‘Hub’ of the system. The National Land Information Service is based on a ‘Hub’ or gateway, which will make possible electronic access to an array of property information from a range of sources at the click of a button. This will include ownership information from the Land Registry and local Land Charges information from all local authorities as well as other information relating to the property such as environmental or geological data. The service has the potential to reduce the time it takes to carry out searches necessary to complete the property conveyancing process from weeks to minutes.Later this month four licences will be awarded Channel operators. They will buy data through the Hub and re- sell it on to solicitors, conveyancers and the general public.The channels will operate in competition and it is likely that information will be packaged in a variety of ways to provide services tailored for other property professionals such as surveyors, estate agents, mortgage lenders, developers and insurers.
This will be the first project to go live using the ‘channel’ approach set out in the Modernising Government White Paper, published in April 1999. The aim is to harness customer service capabilities in the commercial sector in partnership with Government and provide a joined up service. The project has been steered by the Local Government Information House on behalf of a partnership between HM Land Registry, an Executive Agency of the Lord Chancellor’s Department and the Improvement & Development Agency representing Local Government.