Seabed and natural water boundaries

This section covers the seabed and natural water boundaries FAQs. For more detailed information can be found in the general guidance on seabed and natural water boundaries.

Q1. Can the Keeper register the seabed?

The 2012 Act definition of "land" in section 113 includes "the seabed of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland (including land within the ebb and flow of the tide at ordinary spring tides)" and the registration of such land, out to the Scottish territorial sea limit, in the Land Register is therefore competent.

A new operational area defined by the prefix SEA has been created for the land lying between the mean low spring water mark of the foreshore and the limit of the territorial waters of Scotland.

Q2. Does the extent of an area of seabed have to be shown on a deed plan?

A condition of registration is that the deed should sufficiently describe the plot to enable the Keeper to delineate its boundaries on the cadastral map; generally this may be done by providing a suitable bounding description or plan which meets the specifications set out in the Keeper's Deed Plan Criteria guidance.

  • a description of the plot
  • a description of the plot boundaries using OSGB36 coordinates, preferably in the form of a table, and
  • a plan delineating the boundaries of the plot, including a location plan relating to the coast of Scotland.

Q3. The Sasine title description narrates rights to salmon fishing in the sea from points along the coast. The extent in the sea is not delineated on a deed plan. Is a fresh plan required?

To comply with the conditions of registration a plan and description of the plot using OSGB36 coordinates is required to enable the Keeper to delineate the plot on the cadastral map and to describe it in the title sheet. The Sasine title description is inadequate as it would not enable the Keeper to fully comply with the requirements of the 2012 Act.

For example, if the description narrates the fishing rights extending from the coast to the limit of territorial waters, then a plan is required showing the extent to the limit of territorial waters, along with the OSGB36 coordinates defining the full boundaries of the plot.

Q4. The subjects in the deed to be registered include areas above and below the Mean Low Water Mark. Will these be included in one title sheet/one cadastral unit?

Where the plot to be registered comprises land and seabed, the keeper will generally split the resulting title at the Mean Low Water Mark. The seabed part will be registered in the county of SEA, and the land part in the appropriate land-based county.  Each part will have a separate title sheet and cadastral unit. The keeper may exercise discretion in certain circumstances, and register both parts in the land or SEA county.  For example, where there is a physical object, such as a jetty or pier that occupies both land and seabed areas.

Q5. What is the effect of an agreement under section 66 of the 2012 Act on the extent of a registered title?

Section 66 of the 2012 Act allows the proprietors of registered adjacent plots of land affected by alluvion (gradual movement of the banks due to the flow of water) to agree that their common boundary is not to be so affected. The agreement fixes that common boundary, or part of it, to a position defined on a plan annexed to the agreement. Any subsequent change to the physical river banks of the plots as a result of alluvion will not cause an inaccuracy in the cadastral map or the title sheets of the plots, i.e. the boundary remains fixed to the position defined on the plan irrespective of any future movement of the natural watercourse.

The agreement can only be submitted for registration against two titles in the Land Register.

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