Following a public consultation earlier this year, it has been announced that the powers of the Land Registry are to be extended to include responsibility for the registration of Local Land Charges.

Under the proposals, the Land Registry will assume statutory responsibility for the Local Land Charges register and will be the sole authority for the registration of Local Land Charges. At present, this responsibility is assumed by 348 local authorities meaning that fees and turnaround times vary considerably depending on the location of the property in question.

The proposals are designed to provide a single digital register of Local Land Charges, enabling faster turnaround times and a standard fee for the search.

The responses to the public consultation earlier this year revealed many different views on the proposal and the Land Registry consultation response states that, where appropriate, amendments have been made to reflect the comments received. For instance, the LLC search will no longer be limited to 15 years (although the actual search period has not yet been specified).

The statutory changes required to implement the changes will form part of the proposed Infrastructure Bill which is due to complete its passage through Parliament in March 2015.

The preparatory work for the transfer of the LLC service to the Land Registry from the local authorities is due to start in April 2015 with the actual transfer due to start later the same year.