In December 2022, GeoPlace, Geospatial Commission, DLUHC and Ordnance Survey facilitated a strategic roundtable: integrating UPRNs into priority datasets with invited attendees from industry and representative bodies in the property sector.
The aim was to explore and gather evidence on where wider use of the UPRNs in public sector datasets could help to solve key challenges such as: building the right homes in the right places, speeding up planning, development and the home buying and selling process, ensuring building safety and achieving net zero targets.
Since then, we have been engaging with organisations who produce the priority data sets identified to explore whether there are any barriers to UPRN adoption we could help address. Progress made to date includes:
The following datasets already/will have UPRNs included:
- New database of the private rented sector in England. The Renters (Reform) Bill will legislate for the new database that will support the future property portal service. The legislation will require private landlords to register on the new service and provide details about the properties they privately let in England. UPRNs are intended to be used on the service as it is developed to create an accurate dataset of privately rented properties.
- Planning data. There are new standardised approaches to local planning data, which require the use of the UPRN. This will allow easier, quicker and cheaper data matching, supporting a wide range of use cases identified across the public and private sector including faster service connection, insurance and lending and supporting the growth of proptech companies.
- EPC data. EPC data has included UPRNs since 2021. We have investigated potential match rate issues with the EPC team. They explained that there is a balance between quality and coverage but that there is a high match rate, particularly for domestic buildings. There are challenges around some commercial buildings. They have been working with GeoPlace on addressing this.
- DWP benefits data. This also has UPRNs already on the data, though there are some match rate and consistency issues which OS and GeoPlace are working with DWP to address.
- Utilities. This seems to be a mixed picture with UPRNs and USRNs used in many areas.
Discussions have also been had with HMLR, NHS, VOA, local authorities and Historic England. These organisations are already adopting UPRNs on some of their datasets, and have plans to adopt UPRNs across more of their datasets in the future. We will continue to encourage and support this adoption.
The Geospatial Commission recently published Building better decision making: location data in the property sector. This report explores how location data, services and applications can drive forward a technological revolution across the UK property ecosystem from town planning and site identification to property management and retrofitting. The report sets out four cross-cutting themes where improved geospatial data and applications can unlock growth, and identifies existing projects and future opportunities to support this. This includes the important role of UPRNs and our collective role in continuing to encourage wide adoption.
Finally, the following building safety related datasets were suggested at the workshop and in a follow up survey.
- External Wall System Fire Review certificate (EWS1)
- Electrical Installation Condition Report and Gas safety records
- Leaseholder Certificate.
There is no central database of these forms and in some cases they are not digitised. GeoPlace will work with industry bodies to encourage adoption of UPRNs on these forms.