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Survey Information (FOI241228)

This Freedom of Information request asks for survey information.

Request for information - Ref No: FOI241228


We received your request on 18 March 2024.

We have handled your request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

A copy of your request is set out in the extract below:

XXXXXXX A surveyor surveyed our property 20 March 2013 and changed the red line extent to our detriment, and removed two strips of land.

The rear strip of land shows two separate parcels, therefore the two strips of land includes a total of three parcels of land removed from our pre survey Title Plan red line extent.

The copy of the survey report I have has been forwarded to me from HMLR in the form of a 'HM Land Registry Survey Requisition' and seems to be incomplete. According to HMLR:

“...HMLR requested that OS inspect the property.

As a result of the inspection, OS updated its base map. However, that was a decision by OS, not HMLR.”

Therefore the “Land Registry Survey Requisition”, seemingly incomplete, requires I make a FOI request to you.

I understand the FOI act covers all data you hold, therefore I would like a copy of:

The entire survey report. All the information not in the survey report, but held by OS Ltd, relevant to/resulting from the land inspection that produced the survey report. To aid identification of the information, it should relate to the following points:

  1. The information should show why the man made physical objects in the survey photographs (the metal panel, the wood fence panel, & other fence items viewable upon closer inspection, that corresponded with the pre survey black line boundary), were not referred to in the written survey report.
  2. Information that explains why natural boundary features in the photographs (several trees and branch/vine/bush over growth, that corresponded with the pre survey black line boundary), were not referred to in the written survey report.
  3. Therefore I would like a copy of all the information that is absent from the “Survey Requisition” survey report sent to me, including descriptions, photographs, etc. that provided the authority to dismiss the man made and natural boundary elements in the survey photographs, and the removal of two strips of land from the pre survey red line extent.
  4. Black Line Insertion: I would like the information/photographs that established/validates the insertion of the black line (...) (thus establishing two, separate, parcels of land, divided by a physical boundary).
  5. Three Sided Parcel: I would like the information that establishes the four sided parcel of land on the survey plan, which the survey report states is the 'gap' beyond the wall, and was established by the building wall, when survey photographs show the building wall is fixed to the corner wooden post (...), thus showing a three sided parcel of land.


  1. The wooden corner post is the corner marker on the pre survey title plan & OS plan, and current title plan and OS plan.
  2. The survey report dismisses the metal panel as a boundary feature due to the OS removing the black line from it's (sic) location.

Scale: The black line boundary on the survey plan, that represents the building wall, is positioned on the plan to show:

  • A four sided strip of land that accommodates a 'passage' (...).
  • Instead of the far narrower strip that cannot accommodate a path/passage, and, due to the building wall meeting the corner wooden post, narrows to the right, and ends at a single point (as above). Therefore the 'passage' sized indentation on the survey plan, and the single fixed point for the wall and the wooden corner post in the survey photographs (establishing a three sided parcel), isn't covered by the general boundary principle and/or the tolerances in mapping scale), compel the following request:
  • I would like the information which establishes the current black line representation of the building wall. Additional Strip of Land: In addition to the removal of the strip of land (above), the removal of the separate strip of land (...) from the pre survey red line extent needs addressing. The red line removal from the black line on the pre survey plan (...) occurred because, according to HMLR, the “land was not included in the application for first registration”.
  • I would like the information that enabled the LR to remove the red line that corresponded with the black line that represented the brick wall in the survey photographs. Origin of Survey Report:
  • I would also like confirmation the survey was undertaken by a surveyor from Ordnance Survey Ltd (instead of the survey being performed by a Land Registry Surveyor who was 'covered' by a license held by the Land Registry)."

Our response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey (OS) does not hold the information you have requested.

Due to the passage of time, we have not retained a copy of the survey report and we do not hold any further information relevant to the survey or information that produced the survey report.

You have asked whether the survey was undertaken by an OS surveyor. We do not hold information to confirm this however, I can confirm that OS took over the HM Land Registry Surveying Service, in its entirety on 1 April 2013. Prior to this date surveys were carried out by both HM Land Registry surveyors and OS surveyors. HM Land Registry surveyors would not have required a licence to do such surveys.

Advice and Assistance

Under the duty to provide information and assistance in accordance with section 16 of FOIA, we can provide the following information which may assist you in this matter:

The full survey report would have been sent directly back to HM Land Registry (HMLR) at the time the survey was originally undertaken. In addition, following a survey, OS does not retain a separate register / catalogue of information from the mapping database itself recording the amendments made.

A HMLR survey report usually consists of a word document that details the factual evidence of ground situations, along with an annotated plot and photographs to correspond with this report; this information is then used by HMLR to produce the Title Plan in conjunction with the Title Deeds at the time of First Registration.

OS mapping reflects the features on the ground at the time of revision; however, it is important to note that OS does not depict legal property boundaries, nor do we attempt to show property ownership in our mapping. We only map the existence of physical features on the ground at the time of survey, which are within our specification and tolerances.

HMLR are responsible for generating the Title Plans, and they may add additional information to their versions of our mapping (such as the red line) or extra annotations to explain the extent of a legal property boundary. This additional information is not added to our mapping database and OS do not make any changes to Title Plans.

Although HMLR surveys, since 2013, have been carried out by an OS surveyor, any queries about the survey should usually be directed to HMLR. We would refer you to HMLR for further information regarding the Title plan, and your comments regarding the red line depicted on the Title plan.

For further information in relation to OS mapping, in particular property boundary information you may wish to refer to our website here: Land ownership and property boundaries | General public | OS (

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request, as follows:

Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

Contact us via our FoI form

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

If you are still dissatisfied after our internal review, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You should make complaints to the ICO within six weeks of receiving the outcome of an internal review. The easiest way to lodge a complaint is through the ICO website.