FFCC says “We can’t make more land”

THE FOOD, Farming and Countryside Commission has set out a strong case for a new Land Use Framework. The organisation says “England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, and the pressure on land is growing. Commitments to supercharge clean energy, plant trees, restore nature, build housing, tackle flooding and provide food for the nation all rely on land.

“Finding ways to manage these competing demands on land is complex and difficult. But as we talk to people around the country, we find that people care deeply about these issues and including them in decision-making delivers better outcomes. Land owners, farmers, local councils, community groups and many others are under pressure to build houses, protect nature, grow food, improve transport, respond to floods (and much more). They are looking for ways to work together to find solutions that work for their community.”

In a new short film the FFCC says “We can’t make more land but there is a solution. A land use framework could be the key to better decisions about land, so people in charge of land can make decisions with better data and clearer national priorities, so local people have more say about housing, transport, healthy food, supporting local farms and enabling nature to flourish. This, says the FFCC, will create “happier healthier more connected communities.”

The FFCC is not alone in recommending such an approach. The Royal Society, Green Alliance, CPRE, WWF, RSPB, the County Councils Network, and the government’s Geospatial Commission are all calling for a Land Use Framework.

The FFCC says “A Land Use Framework is a way to manage competing needs. It could help ensure that new housing developments are close to jobs and public transport, solar panels are put in the right place, healthy food is accessible within communities, rivers are kept clean.”

DEFRA has committed to publishing a Land Use Framework for England in the Government Food Strategy and has repeated its commitment in parliament. The House of Lords Land Use Committee published its recommendations for a Land Use Framework in December 2022.

Read more about proposals for a Land Use Framework

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