A new way to make decisions about land

Briefing for policymakers on the Land Use Framework for England

7th February 2023

The pressure on land is growing, and with it, the need to fast track urgent decisions on energy, tree planting, nature restoration, housing and more. Recent research has shown that an area of land twice the size of Wales is needed to meet government targets in these four areas alone.

These competing demands are being felt by landowners, farmers and local leaders across the UK - many of whom lack a voice in major decisions affecting their area or useful information on which to base decisions. There’s often no way to accelerate the solutions that work for their business or community.

Now, a better way to make decisions about land, called a Land Use Framework, is being tested in two English counties, Devon and Cambridgeshire. A framework brings together people and organisations, data and maps, to agree the principles that should guide people’s decisions about land. The results of the pilot projects will help shape a National Land Use Framework, due to be published by government this spring. This vital work on the ground is revealing how important it is for the framework to prioritise local voices as well as top-down strategies and to cover not just food and nature but housing and other infrastructure too.

This briefing for national and local policymakers provides more information about the Land Use Framework and these pilot projects.