Land Matters

Learning from research about land use frameworks

3rd October 2023

Land is a limited resource under huge pressure – and how it is used is too often presented as a binary choice between competing pressures. Either we have new affordable housing, or improve people’s access to healthy green space. Either we preserve ancient woodland, or we introduce greener transport.

As political parties return from recess, land use will be a common denominator of many of the policies being discussed. We urgently need a different approach to land use, meeting multiple needs, to find better solutions overall.

This briefing sets out how a Land Use Framework can help shape a new approach to land, and enable decision makers to navigate the pressures and opportunities already in front of them. Our work testing a Land Use Framework suggests that:

  • Local decision makers are best placed to decide on suitability of land and benefit to their community
  • A national framework can both guide and aggregate local decisions, ensure national targets are clear, and met, and help with local commitment and access to necessary information
  • Cross-sector leadership from the outset enables better decisions
  • Accessible, spatially-explicit data leads to better outcomes
  • Inclusive and transparent public involvement is key to reducing conflict and delays

Download the briefing at the top of the page