A Devon Land Use Framework

Latest from our team piloting the framework

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.

Testing the framework's principles

Between September 2022 and January 2023, the pilot team will be testing these principles on two or three specific locations and issues, with a wider group of people. These will be places or projects where land use decisions are being considered and where partners would be willing to incorporate a land use framework approach into or piggy-backed within their work within the testing period. We are seeking to test contrasting locations, scales, and issues.

We will be talking to various contacts over the summer with the aim of choosing the test areas for the framework, then shortlisting the most appropriate case studies in August for a final decision in early September. Listen to citizens sharing their views at the Devon County Show.

Once the areas are identified the team will also plan how best to hear from community groups and landowners in those places, with a mix of informal conversations and workshop discussions. The process will also draw on spatial data and tools, potential funding sources and the opportunity to trial prototype spatial modelling.

We would welcome your thoughts on any of these ideas. For more information and a list of potential topics and sites, please contact Devon Communities Together.

Data and evidence within the framework

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. Data and evidence interviews have been carried out with a range of organisations, to identify the policies and information used when making decisions about land use, and any challenges, gaps or other issues that are entailed. 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.

Further interviews are planned, with a view to publishing a list of the policies and information most often used by decision makers in the county later in 2022.

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.