Cadastral mapping: deed plan requirements

This section covers the Cadastral Mapping: Deed Plan Requirements.

Q1. What are the Keeper's general requirements for a deed plan?

The deed should sufficiently describe the plot to enable its boundaries to be delineated on the cadastral map. Where the plot is affected by registrable encumbrances and rights, the plan or description must be sufficient to enable these to be fully reflected on the cadastral map. An application for registration that does not meet these requirements must be rejected.

If there is doubt as to the suitability of a plan or bounding description then our deed plan criteria guidance contained within on our Knowledge base should be consulted. Our Plans Reports - Level 2 or 3 will advise on the suitability and acceptability of a plan or description for registration purposes.

Q2. The subjects to be registered are defined in a prior recorded deed in the Sasine Register. The deed does not contain a plan, or the plan is lost. Do I need a plan to the new disposition?

The Keeper must delineate the boundaries of the plot on the cadastral map. If the prior deed contains a full bounding description that is unambiguous in relation to the boundaries defined on the base map (the Ordnance Survey map), then a new plan is not required.

If the Keeper will not be able to delineate the boundaries on the cadastral map due to the loss of the original deed plan and/or an incomplete or ambiguous bounding description in the deed, then a new plan which meets our deed plan criteria should be annexed to the new disposition.

Q3. The subjects to be registered are defined in a prior recorded deed in the Sasine Register. The plan appears to be of a poor quality. Will I need a new plan?

The Keeper's Deed Plan Criteria narrate the types of plan which are not acceptable for registration purposes. For example, floating shapes where there is insufficient surrounding detail to enable the boundaries to be accurately identified and plotted onto the base map:

Tenement FAQ

Examples like this one, and others narrated in the Deed Plan Criteria, will require new plans to be prepared and annexed to the disposition in favour of the applicant.

If an application is submitted and the description of the subjects is only by reference to a plan which does not meet the relevant requirements of sections 23(1)(c), 25(1)(b), 26(1)(d), and 28(1)(a) of the Act as applicable, it must be rejected.

Q4. The plans in prior title deeds are missing or are of too poor a quality for registration purposes. Can I submit a certified plan to show the boundaries of the plot, or identify areas affected by rights or burdens?

The Keeper's policy is that certified plans are not acceptable where registration is as a result of a transaction on the plot. A new plan should be prepared to identify the extent of the plot, rights and burdens, as appropriate. The plan should be annexed to the deed in the usual way.

A certified plan may only be submitted in relation to applications for voluntary registration.

Q5. I have annexed a plan to the disposition in favour of the applicants. When processing the application the Keeper discovers that part of the area shown on the deed plan overlaps a registered title. What happens?

In terms of section 12(2) of the 2012 Act the same area of land cannot be represented by more than one cadastral unit. Where the application appears to create a competition in title in the land register the Keeper will reject the application to enable the issue to be investigated and resolved.

The applicants may consider several courses of action prior to the application being resubmitted for registration: a new deed and/or deed plan may be drawn to exclude the area already registered; corrective conveyancing undertaken; or rectification of the existing registered title if appropriate.

Q6. The property to be registered is the residue of a “lands and estate” title. The title deeds refer back to the extent of the original estate under exception of the subsequent split offs. What are the Keeper's requirements in these circumstances?

The deeds must give sufficient description to allow the Keeper to delineate them on the cadastral map. This requirement may be met by:

A plan or full bounding description that shows the extent of the estate now being conveyed. A positive description coupled with a deed plan showing the residue would provide most certainty that the title can be delineated on the cadastral map,


The titles must (1) provide an original estate extent, whether on a suitable plan or by full bounding description and (2) each of the conveyances of parts sold must also contain an appropriate plan or bounding description to enable them to be removed from the original extent.

If the extent of the subjects cannot be established from the prior titles, the application must be rejected. Our Title Investigation Service can provide assistance in such cases prior to submission of an application.

Q7. The subjects to be registered cover a large area. Is a small scale deed plan, say at 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 acceptable if I have access to the digital data for the subjects?

The base map for the cadastral map is the Ordnance Survey map. It follows that the underlying map detail will be at a scale of 1:1250, 1:2500 or 1:10,000 for properties falling within urban, rural or mountain/moorland areas, respectively. Therefore, any newly prepared plan should take into account the size and locality of the subjects in relation to the relevant base map criteria and specifications.

Whilst submission of digital data assists the Keeper in plotting the extent of larger areas onto the cadastral map, it does not remove the need for a deed plan which accurately defines the boundaries of the plot.

Q8. The subjects to be registered comprise several areas of land disponed in deeds recorded in the Sasine Register. I have annexed a new plan to the disposition in favour my client showing the total extent of the subjects to be registered. Will the Keeper register the extent of the new plan?

Provided the applicant is able to certify on the application form for the disposition that it meets the conditions of application and the extent on the new plan does not overlap with a registered title, the cadastral map will reflect the extent shown on the new deed plan. The Keeper will rely on the certification on the application form. Should the extent later prove to be manifestly inaccurate, the title must be rectified.

Under the terms of section 111, the granter of a deed, the applicant and their legal advisers must take reasonable care to ensure that the Keeper does not inadvertently make the register inaccurate as a result of an application for registration. The Keeper will be entitled to compensation from those parties in respect of any loss suffered because of that breach of the duty of care.

Q9. I have submitted an application to register a Deed of Conditions. The Keeper discovers that part of the subjects covered by the Deed of Conditions is outwith my client’s title. Will my application be rejected?

Yes, the extent of the deed of conditions may be up to but not greater than your client's title.

The Keeper's Development Plan Approval service can provide reassurance in relation to the deed of conditions prior to your client selling parts to purchasers.

Q10. The titles to subjects to be registered narrate deeds recorded in the Sasine Register for burdens which are described in relation to colour references on the various deed plans. The plans referred to in the deeds are either unobtainable due to their age, or I only have access to black and white copy plans from the Sasine Register. Will my application be rejected?

No, although the way in which the keeper will reflect these historic burdens on the title sheet will depend on the nature of the burden. Where, despite the colour references, the prior burdens deeds narrate only general burdens that affect an entire estate/development, with such burdens relating to the enjoyment, amenity and land usage within the estate/development e.g. shall not park a caravan on the land, keep pigs etc., no particular references are required on the cadastral map and production of the plan will not be required. However, if a monochrome copy of the plan is available it should be submitted.

If a servitude or particular burden is specific to part only of the plot, it is a condition of registration (section 23(1)(d)) that the deed must contain a plan or description which is sufficient to enable the Keeper to delineate the extent of the area on the cadastral map. Therefore, where the colour references are for particular burdens, and thus should be  referenced on the cadastral map, the Keeper would expect that every attempt is made to provide those plans referred to in burdens deeds affecting the plot to be registered prior to the application being submitted, e.g. coloured up versions of copies obtained from National Records of Scotland of (a) duplicate plans to deeds recorded in the Sasine Register, or (b) deed plans from the Books of Council and Session if the deed was recorded for preservation. Where no colour deed plan can be obtained, the keeper will alternatively accept a new deed plan delineating the affected area, submitted as part of the application for registration.

However, if no colour deed plan is submitted with the application (or the plan submitted is insufficient to allow the keeper to delineate the area affected by the burden on the cadastral map), the keeper will not reject the application provided the application otherwise meets the general application conditions and conditions of registration- instead, the terms of the encumbrance will be added to the title sheet alongside a note confirming that the land affected cannot be identified on the cadastral map.

Q11. The Disposition to be registered is a transfer of part of a registered plot. The Keeper discovers that the Title Number narrated in the deeds submitted for registration is incorrect. Would my application be rejected?

Yes, the application would be rejected as the deeds must narrate the correct Title Number. The only exception to this rule is when at the date of execution of the Disposition the title number could not reasonably have been known to the applicant.

Q12. The prior title deeds provide a description of the plot and specifically define the boundaries, e.g. north boundary by centre line of a wall. Are these reflected on the cadastral map and in the title sheet?

By virtue of section 6(1)(a)(i) and (ii), we will incorporate boundary information into the title sheet only. This information is used to clarify the description of the proprietor's right in, and boundaries of, the plot of land. Such information is classed as supplementary data, and will not be reflected on the cadastral map.

Where the boundary description in the title deeds is straightforward and no ambiguity exists as to location, depiction, accuracy etc. we will edit into the property description, the verbal description of the boundaries as narrated in the title deeds.

Where the description of the boundaries is not straightforward or is complex, e.g. it narrates multiple changes in direction of a feature or small juts, such boundaries will not be described in the title sheet. A note will be added to the property section identifying the deed in which the fuller description of the plot boundaries is narrated.

Only a narrow class of deeds, such as a Shifting boundary Agreement under section 66, will require a particular boundary to be referenced on the cadastral map.

Q13. In addition to a plot owned exclusively, part of the land to be registered is owned in common with others but is described verbally only, in that the descriptive deed conveys a right in common to the play area serving a development, and there is no plan or bounding description of the common area. The area owned exclusively is adequately described. Do I need a plan to the new disposition for the common area?

The Keeper must delineate the boundaries of the plot on the cadastral map. The reference to "plot" includes land owned in common by the applicant with others. If the prior deed contains a full bounding description that is unambiguous in relation to the boundaries of the common area defined on the base map (the Ordnance Survey map), then a new plan is not required.

Where a conveyance of either an unregistered plot (a first registration) or of part of a registered plot (a transfer of part) describes common areas by reference to a deed  recorded or registered prior to 8 December 2014 and those areas cannot be mapped the Keeper will accept the application (provided it is otherwise in order). The main house plot will be mapped but the areas owned in common (or purportedly owned in common) will be omitted from the title sheet and cadastral map. Where the common areas are set out in a deed of conditions which also contains other rights (such as incorporeal pertinents) - and it is not possible to separate those rights out in a meaningful way - then a note will be added to the title sheet to the effect that the rights of common property have not been mapped and therefore do not form part of the title.

This approach necessarily leaves the status of the rights in common uncertain. Applicants who wish to avoid that uncertainty can do so by ensuring that their application contains sufficient information to enable the areas to be mapped.

Applications to register titles including common areas described in a deed registered on or after the designated day where the common area cannot be mapped will be rejected.

Further information on the Keeper's policy in relation to the mapping of common areas can be found on the general guidance page 'mapping common areas'.

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