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Updated Dec 22, 2022

House of Lords call for land use framework in England

A report by the cross-party House of Lords Land Use in England Committee has suggested that a framework for land use should be set up through an independent Land Use Commission.

Their report claims that a national framework that covers housing needs, energy, nature, forestry, food and how to reach net zero is essential in order to make the most use of land in England. The framework should aim to help balance food production with other land use needs.

They also say that the government should establish the Land Use Commission as a statutory body, with the commission's role being to prepare and update the land use framework.

The report calls for a multifunctional approach to land that achieves multiple benefits, as an essential part of the land use framework. This must be supported with an up-to-date and accessible evidence base. A priority within the framework should be access to green space, with provision and maintenance of it strengthened in existing policies.

Chair of the Land Use in England Committee, Lord Cameron of Dillington, commented: "Land use in England is facing a growing number of conflicting pressures and demands including for food, nature, biodiversity, net zero targets, housing, energy and wellbeing."

"Throughout this inquiry we repeatedly heard evidence that showcased the need for guidance and clarity in the form of an overarching framework to assist farmers, landowners and land managers to make the most effective use of their land."

"The government cannot afford to deprioritise this issue. We urge the government to set up a Land Use Commission with responsibility for creating a land use framework which will help identify and address current and emerging challenges and opportunities for land use in England. The framework is essential to support effective land use strategies and tackle the many challenges currently faced."