Sweeping changes were made to land registration in Scotland in December 2014.  Landowners whose titles are still on the old Sasine Register may now be faced with land registration (i.e. title being moved to the new map based Land Register) in some shape or form as part of any renewables project.

One example is a lease for more than 20 years of a wind turbine or a hydro scheme site. Another example is a standard security which needs to be put in place to obtain funding or to secure a contractual obligation (such as an option agreement).

In either case, the registration would only be of the part of the title let by the lease or subject to the standard security. In the case of a lease, while the landowner would usually be given the opportunity to review the land registration application the tenant is ultimately in control of the content and timing of the application.

A landowner can however register their title before entering into a renewables project by “Voluntary Registration”. This allows a landowner to register their title at a time and pace which is convenient to them, without pressure from a transaction. The piecemeal registration caused by multiple transactions affecting different parts of the title is avoided, and the registration can be structured in a way that best suits future transactions and property management.

For more information on Voluntary Registration, please see our recent articles in the NFU's Scottish Farming Leader here.