A Devon Land Use Framework

Latest from our team piloting the framework

We're testing a better way to make decisions about land

We're working with land managers and owners, local leaders and communities in Devon to test how a Land Use Framework could help better decisions about land in the county. This vital, on the ground project compliments a second pilot in Cambridgeshire.

Find out more about why an inclusive and evidence-led framework is important for England.

Read the latest reflections from people involved in our two pilots.

Testing the framework's principles

Between October 2022 and April 2023, the pilot team will be testing these principles at different spatial scales with a group of trial sites in Devon. These are places or projects where land use decisions are being considered and where partners are keen to interrogate how a land use framework approach can support them to take holistic land use decisions in the future.

We talked to a variety of stakeholders from public, private and voluntary sectors over the summer to assist us in identifying our trial sites for the framework. We also sought out the opinions of Devon residents on the future of land use in the county. Listen to citizens sharing their views at the Devon County Show.

Over winter and spring, we will be testing the framework through a mix of workshops and one to one conversations with the trial sites and their stakeholders. This will inform how they apply the principles of the framework, and how it can help the trial sites work across boundaries. We’ll also be sharing the challenges and opportunities the trial sites encounter with a much broader range of stakeholders across the county and beyond. We hope that the learning from this pilot can be translated to inform work underway in other locations that face different challenges, and for the process to be integrated into future decision-making processes.

Explore the Devon Land Use Framework trial sites

For more information please contact Devon Communities Together.

Explore the trial sites

What’s next - creating a prototype decision support tool

As well as testing the framework's principles, we are building the data and evidence that can inform an effective decision-making process for land use decisions in the county. This work is part of the Geospatial Commission’s National Land Data Programme (NLDP).

FFCC is partnering with the British Geological Survey (BGS) to work with local stakeholders to co-design a land use decision support tool that could help decision makers manage real world land use challenges they are facing, for example around carbon sequestration and offsetting. This will include a week-long design sprint in February 2023 which will inform the development of a clickable prototype decision support tool by April. Testing the tool with local decision makers will help demonstrate how land use data and modelling can improve joined-up decision making and help identify data improvement requirements, with the results compiled in a case study which will be published by June 2023.

Interviews have included: Devon Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, East Devon District Council, Blackdown Hills AONB, Devon Biological Records Centre, Clinton Devon Estates, Exmoor National Park, South West Water and Plymouth and South West Devon Planning.

Read the latest NLDP report

Visualising the principles

Between April and June 2022 the Devon Design Group assessed how the principles of a land use framework could work in Devon, in practice, and have produced a Devon Land Use Framework visualisation. This builds on FFCC's original visualisation and aligns the LUF process with achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Government policies such as the 25 year Environment Plan, Levelling Up Bill, Net Zero Plan and the new Food Strategy.

Specifically, it introduces a new principle (bottom left) ‘economically sustainable’ and a shift of the wording around ‘integrative’ into additional ways of working in the centre of the diagram.

The Design Group have discussed how these principles could be applied to real world land use decisions.

More about the Devon Land Use Framework Pilot

Devon is one of two counties in England piloting a land use framework, which is a now a government commitment to be implemented across England by 2023. The pilot aims to support Devon partners in the public, private and voluntary sector during land use decision making processes. The framework will support more proactive, integrated action to deliver net zero, nature recovery, ecosystems services, economic development and food production, as well as helping individual landowners and farmers make long term plans as they face a raft of new support mechanisms.

The framework process will be evaluated by FFCC and partners encouraged to adopt and adapt the framework in the future.

Who is involved?

FFCC is working with Westcountry Rivers Trust and Devon Communities Together to deliver the pilot. A Leadership Group of key stakeholders steers the project: Devon County Council (Ecology and Planning), National Trust, National Farmers Union, Environment Agency, Devon Net Zero Taskforce, Duchy of Cornwall, Westcountry Rivers Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, CLA and Dartmoor National Park. The Leadership Group is co-chaired by David Fursdon, FFCC Commissioner and Sir Michael Barber.