A Quick Look at the Private Eye FOI’d “Offshore Landowners” Data from the Land Registry

A few days ago, Private Eye popped up a link to the (not open) data they’d FOId from the Land Registry around land registry applications made by offshore companies: Selling England (and Wales) by the pound. (UPDATE: see also the official publication, Land Registry: Overseas Companies data, and associated guidance.)

I thought have have a quick look at the data to see what sorts of thing it contained. I’ve popped a quick introductory conversation with it here: Private Eye – UK Land Ownership By Offshore Companies.

One of the things I learned was that solar panel installation companies can often get a hold on you…


Here’s another glimpse:


As well as looking at data on a national basis (for example, to see how the same company or companies have taken title across the UK), we can also look at the data on a more local level. For example, here’s a snapshot over locations of titles held by overseas companies on the Isle of Wight:


If you want to run the notebook yourself (for example: Seven Ways of Running IPython / Jupyter Notebooks), you should be able to download the raw version of the notebook.

PS to learn more about using Jupyter notebooks, and the Python pandas library, for basis data wrangling, why not sign up to the free OU FutureLearn MOOC Learn to Code for Data Analysis (aka Learn to Code, A Line at a Time).

PPS The UKGov also seems to have decided that it might be a good idea to sell off the Land Registry. Open data advocate Owen Boswarva summarised  the previous consultation held on this a couple of years ago as follows: Who supports the privatisation of Land Registry? Mainly corporates. As a private company, under current UK legislation,I don’t think that a LandRegCo would be subject to FOI, even if it was maintaining a public register.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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