GGP Geographic Information System Helps Speed Up House Purchases in Eastleigh
The UK’s Eastleigh Borough Council has transformed its local authority property search service with a new automated system connected to the council’s corporate GIS. Land Charge searches form an essential part of the conveyancing process, identifying if there are any aspects of the property or its surroundings which a prospective buyer should be aware of. A project to transform Eastleigh’s land charges service from a paper based system to one driven by IT included digitisation of historic documents, purchase of new land charges software and integration with the GIS supplied by GGP Systems.
By transforming their land charge search procedure Eastleigh aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process and all units involved, reduce the time taken to complete searches and therefore improve the standard of client care and services to the public and conveyancing solicitors.
“Through integration with GGP GIS the land charge search system is now spatially referenced with responses automatically generated using data held by different departments across the Council,” commented Jo Groves, Land and Property Information Manager within the Customer Service and ICT Unit at Eastleigh Borough Council. “This is far more efficient!”
She continued, “By digitising existing media we have improved access to essential information, we have also greatly reduced the amount of data that is duplicated within different departments therefore reducing the potential for errors.”
The project involved the capture of historical, paper based plans and records. This involved textual data as well as spatial data relating to searches including historic planning applications, housing grants and wayleave orders (the rights of electricity or gas companies to a client’s land for installation, maintenance etc), for example. Some data was already held in format suitable for use in the GIS enabled solution, such as listed building, conservation areas and planning applications, but this data also required attention to ensure accuracy and enable modification to hold additional detail.
Using the new system members of the land charge team simply enter a search into the MIS Land Charge interface. This automatically opens up the embedded GGP GIS and the boundary of the search can be plotted using property outlines from the Council’s corporate address database (LLPG / Local Land and Property Gazetteer). GGP GIS then performs a spatial query returning data from more than twenty individual map layers. Other units involved in responding to search questions, such as Environmental Health and Transportation & Engineering can review and approve the automatically generated responses before the search results are returned to the customer.