A World-Class Digital Land and Property Information Database for Scotland

Conference Date: 10 March 2015, 830am-2pm

Venue: National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Outline of event

Should Scotland be aspiring to create a world-leading digital hub that provides information about land and property across the country?  Should we follow the lead of countries like Norway in moving to a one-stop database with all the necessary data and documents to support those responsible for transacting in property, delivering public services, and making policy decisions that affect land ownership and management?

The Scottish Government clearly has this on its agenda; in presenting land reform as a key plank of her legislative programme, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said one key step was “Measures to improve the transparency and accountability of land ownership and make information on land, its value and ownership more readily available in one place.”

This half-day event will bring together key players from the public and private sectors to discuss the benefits of a fully digitised, one-search land information system – and how Scotland might move towards it and create one of the world’s smartest places to do business.

Speakers will outline the opportunities and challenges to reach this goal through collaboration and partnership.  Attendees will hear from Norway, which has gone down the fully-digitised, one-search route. How can we learn from other countries to help deliver a system to the benefit of Scottish business and consumers?

The event will also hear how Scottish Ministers’ invitation to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to complete the Land Register by 2024, with all public land registered by 2019, will be a key foundation for such a development.

The conference, hosted by Unifi Scotland, takes place three months after Scottish Ministers launched their consultation on taking forward a Land Reform Bill and after the implementation of the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012.

Unifi Scotland is an independent think-tank made up of representatives from various organisations and parties involved in land and property in Scotland www.unifiscotland.com


09.00: Introduction by the Chair – David Lee, Scotsman Conferences

Session 1 – Setting the Scene

09.05Improving the transparency and accountability of land ownership – by making information readily available in one place John Swinney, MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy

09.20 – Q&A with the Deputy First Minister

Session 2 – The bigger picture: a one-stop digital database

09.30 – Who owns Scotland – the foundation stone for a land and property information data hub: Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland

09.50 – Can we build a one-stop digital database? Yes we can: Professor Stewart Brymer, Brymer Legal Limited and the University of Dundee

10.10 – Collating the data to make a one-stop database possible: a collaborative approach: Iain McKay, Spatial Information Programme Manager, Improvement Service

10.30 – Q&A with Sheenagh Adams, Stewart Brymer & Iain McKay

10.50 – Coffee Break

Session 3 – The Professionals

11.15 – A modern conveyancing system: making it happen: Ross McKay, Convenor of Property Law Committee, Law Society of Scotland & Chair, Law Society Working Party on the Future of Conveyancing.

11.30 – Surveying a bright and innovative future: Iain Langlands, Geomatics Board member (and past chair), RICS Scotland and GIS and Data Manager, Glasgow City Council

11.45 – Why a one-stop digital database is good for business and consumers:  Alan Moore, Managing Director, thinkWhere

12.00 – Q&A with Ross McKay, Iain Langlands and Alan Moore

Session 4 – Lessons From Abroad

12.15 – How investment and innovation paid dividends in Norway: Trude B-J Margel, Head of Global Enterprise Division, AMBITA AS

12.35 – Harnessing the full potential of data: a global perspective Simon Ashby, International Land Administration Specialist, Ordnance Survey International

12.50 – Panel discussion – How do we make it happen? Trude B-J Margel, Simon Ashby, Sheenagh Adams, Iain McKay & Stewart Brymer

13.10 – Summary and close

13.15-1400 Networking lunch

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