The govenment holds a National Land and property gazeteer which is maintained by Local Authorities who keep it fully up to date as new properties are built and others demolished. It contains a unique property identifier (a UPRN) which identifies a property and is used as the basis of almost all Local Government and Central governmemt address records. So for example, every time a planning application is registered by a Local Authority, it is matched to the UPRN in thier own address database.
This makes it easy to find all data held by Local Authorities and Government departments – so if you are buying a house, you can quickly and ACCURATELY find out about issues affecting your intended purchace.
All Local Authorities use the UPRN as an address reference, and it is a key feature needed in improving the accuracy of electronic communications involving property information – and yet we seem to make it as difficult as possible for those outside government to get access to this data.
If all those conducting electronic commumications (submitting a planning application for example) had access to this address data, and could therfore include the UPRN in thier electronic submission it would significantly reduce the processing time once received by the Local Authority who can immediately and automatically register the information against the correct property record.
It does not sound much – but I am currently working on a project (not planning I would point out) where if the person sending the information could include the UPRN in the submission I calculate savings to Local Authorities of 5 million pounds a year would result. And that is just one small project.
So my point is – making this information available free to those who conduct electronic communications with Local Authorities and Government departments will save infinately more than you can ever generate by trying to sell the data as is the case now.
Why is this idea important?
It will improve accuracy for all who conduct electronic communications involving address data
It will save Local Authorities and Govenment Departments tens of millions of pounds
It will make possibble far improved use of electronic communications with govenment (e-govt)