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How should we respond to increasing demands on land?

16 March 2022

The Committee on Land Use in England publishes its call for evidence. The Committee is inviting the public to give their views on current and future demands on land use, and how government decision making on this issue can be improved.

The Inquiry

The Committee is considering the current demands on land use across all of England, and how these demands will evolve over the long term. How we utilise land has wide ranging effects on almost every part of the economy and on the lives of people in the UK. It is also central to how the UK tackles many of the issues that we face today, from the climate crisis to biodiversity loss, the housing crisis, and increases in cost of living.

The deadline for responses is 4.00pm on Tuesday 26 April 2022.

The Committee will be looking at a wide range of issues, including:

  • The current demands on land use in England and how these demands are expected to change in the short, medium and long term
  • The impact of these demands on the environment and climate change
  • The current systems through which land use is decided and how effective they are, including variations across the UK and between urban and rural regions
  • How the decision-making process surrounding land use can be improved, including to foster integration and deliver multifunctional uses of land

Chair Comments

Lord Cameron of Dillington, chair of the Committee on Land Use in England said:

“Land Use is facing a h uge range of pressures, challenges and opportunities across the spectrum in this country. This comes at a time when the Country is going through great change following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effects of Brexit and related new environmental and farming policies, and the impact of social and technological change.”

“We are seeing increasing demands for land for Housing, infrastructure, Agriculture and Forestry, as well as a need to tackle climate change and support nature and biodiversity. We are keen to find solutions to all these challenges and to ensure we can use land sustainably and effectively over both the short and long term”

“Our inquiry will only be as strong as the evidence that we get, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in these issues to give us their views.”


Pressures and challenges

  1. What do you see as the most notable current challenges in relation to land use in England? How might these challenges best be tackled? How do you foresee land use in England changing over the long term? How should competing priorities for land use be managed?
  2. What are the key drivers of land use change which need to be planned for, and how should they be planned for? What is the role of multifunctional land use strategies in implementing these plans?
  3. How might we achieve greater and more effective coordination, integration and delivery of land use policy and management at a central, regional, local and landscape level?

Farming and land management

  1. What impacts are changes to farming and agricultural practices, including food production, likely to have on land use in England? What is the role of new technology and changing standards of land management?
  2. What impact are the forthcoming environmental land management schemes likely to have on agriculture, biodiversity and wellbeing? What do you see as their merits and disadvantages?

Nature, landscape and biodiversity

  1. What do you see as the key threats to nature and biodiversity in England in the short and longer term, and what role should land use policy have in tackling these?
  2. What are the merits and challenges of emerging policies such as nature-based solutions (including eco-system and carbon markets), local nature recovery strategies and the biodiversity net gain requirement? Are these policies compatible, and how can we ensure they support one another, and that they deliver effective benefits for nature?

Environment, climate change, energy and infrastructure

  1. How will commitments such as the 25-year environment plan and the net zero target require changes to land use in England, and what other impacts might these changes have?
  2. How should land use pressures around energy and infrastructure be managed? Land use planning
  3. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of the existing land use planning system and associated frameworks in England? How effectively does the system manage competing demands on land, including the Government’s housing and development objectives? What would be the merits of introducing a formal spatial planning framework or frameworks, and how might it be implemented?
  4. What lessons may be learned from land use planning frameworks in the devolved nations and abroad, and how might these lessons apply to England?


  1. Which organisations would be best placed to plan and decide on the allocation of land for the various competing agendas for land use in England, and how should they set about doing so?

Further Information