Initial Lessons from the Devon Land Use Framework Pilot Released

The Food, Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC) has released a briefing to share the initial findings from the Land Use Framework pilots in Cambridgeshire and Devon.

The aim of the pilots is to test how a Land Use Framework can work in a real world setting. The lessons learnt from the pilots will inform the development of a Land Use Framework for England.

The briefing, which is available on the FFCC website, concludes that:

  • A Land Use Framework can help provide a road map – convening leaders to define, debate and agree strategic goals for land. It must join up the planning framework with other land use decision-making, to be truly useful.
  • Better use of data is vital – utilising existing (good-enough) data and bringing it together effectively leads to better decisions.
  • A Land Use Framework should be neither top-down nor bottom-up but based on shared principles and improved capacity for action – nationally, regionally and locally.
  • Effective public engagement improves the legitimacy and implementation of difficult decisions. Many communities want to lead changes, if they are properly involved from the start.
  • Landowners’ ability to take a long-term view beyond political cycles is helpful. Clear national and local policies and incentives (weighted appropriately) will help them to be confident in long-term planning for the changes needed.

The pilots are ongoing and being led by the FFCC and the Geospatial Commission with support from The Environment Agency, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, WWF and Devon County Council. The pilots will report fully when they conclude in summer 2023.