Philip C. Hills – Written Evidence (LUE0004)


Introduction. I am studying historical changes of land usage through my own map paintings based on 19th Tithe Maps and prior historical evidence. 


These will support evidence to show surviving evidence of healthy communities integrated within natural resources of biodiversity and landscape.


These within Wastelands and Commonlands in their many cultural understandings in comparison to the Manor system and increasing industrialisation of resources by heavy financial exploitation..


Resources such as water from streams and rivers were essential to common needs and therefore were respected in kind within the Commons system.. Property barriers of movement to such essentials for community and integrated biodiversity that came with 19th cent. Enclosure Acts were disastrous for humanity and the environment.


The Commons are the key for a way back to a healthy integration of community and biodiversity within land usage.





1. At present the views of local people and communities are often well represented but heavily ignored within Planning Applications.. Often these representations are heavily orientated to protect our landscape, culture and heritage. But in planning procedures, no matter how much the democratic view of local people is in protecting something, it is ignored by Councillors in favour of inherent bias within  the bureaucracy and narrow remits of specialist views. Specialists can only comment within narrow constraints of policy and reference no matter how they may support the communities views if they had fuller powers of disclosure. 


Landowners and developers seem to be able to use these constraints far more efficiently than community even through it is the community who will have to live with bad decisions. The community may not have short term financial investment or landed power of owners and institutions as to equal parity of decision making but everybody will depend on the community for future business, welfare and investment. Villages are often 'lumped' into urban plans that are disastrous to their character and identity including biased formulation of population distribution numbers. 'Care' ia a powerful iconic word but it's real value of meaning is connected to intimacy. In turn this is related to the personal and it is within our personal understandings that are the mark of humanity. And this is what is often destroyed even within well intentions policy. Yet the personal is democracy not power over others. There is nothing more personal than Nature Recovery as it depends on fragility of connectiveness with all living things.


(I am at present involved with a village community that has heavily objected to planning proposals yet local views, subjective and legal rational are being totally ignored.)


2. Include local people as number one priority and wide range of groups from Woman's Institutes to Ancient Parishes. They must be given equal parity with legislative interpreters who are supposed to be representing them.


3. All existing countryside protections and legislations must be kept and increased especially in connection with community, education and public welfare. The rights of countryside access must be enshrined with equality for all, the enclosures acts and land improvements of the 19th centuries social and environmental cruelties, natural landform destruction, are one of the highlights of historical and political devastation for which we are still paying. 


Landscape resources, biodiversity and usage must be put back where they belong. Local business, crafts, knowledge and skills, autonomy of local identity, can be put back, and personal intimacy the highest understandings that can be comprehended by humanity. Garden farms can be organised everywhere with schools of integration for a humane earth realisation. Far more woodlands and wetlands need to be appropriated to natural contours and community need within the biosphere. 


Hedges should never be a barrier to natural integrated human movement across a natural earth, that needs to be deindustrialized from human malpractice, ancient pens are the place for hedges that do not impede natural water movements and biodiversity, human access to resources for sustainable scale craftwork and garden field biodiversity interaction that are not exploitive as iat an industrial scale. Many places are sacred to all of us at many levels of meaning and connection. Land ownership cannot over ride community belonging and connectiveness.


4. Landscape is about identity in human terms and this must be interconnected with natural relations to biodiversity. No more pure financial exploitation of earth resources, everything must be transparent and accountable and done in terms of personal intimacy and concern, not power.


5. To improve and maintain existing protections of our landscape against financial monopoly and to create a local natural consciousness of participation. Forest Charters are an excellent way forward.


6. To restore the integrity of natural landscapes and evolved human interaction that benefits biodiversity and community. This can only be synthesized within empathetic coordination within our connectiveness to natural environments. The industrialisation of landscape must stop, the earth is not a giant factory and we now have the evolving technology that must be encouraged not to depend on rare elements. 


The Enclosures Movement and 19th Landscape Movement must be seen for what they are, powerful industrial and political destructive antisocial movements that almost destroyed the integrity of our environments. Local accountable must be restored as part of democracy.


7. Landscape is about identity in human terms and this must be interconnected with natural relations to biodiversity. No more pure financial exploitation of earth resources, everything must be transparent and accountable and done in terms of personal intimacy, not power.

8.To improve existing protections of our landscape against financial monopoly and to create a local natural consciousness of participation. Forest Charters are an excellent way forward.


9. While I am against over-regulation and would argue for good experienced local management practice some regulation must be enforced against undesirable inappropriate developments, traffic and pollution build ups and destructive anti-social attitudes by any individual, groups, agencies, corporates, councils, governments, security forces or any other body or individual that undermines the welfare of the community, compassion and personal intimacy and understandings.


19. Unsealed roads or green lanes, except for farm access, are ideal for walks and horse riders, cyclists. It is already far too much that people's historical walking rights have been taken away from ordinary metalled roads without taken green lanes away from us as well. Walking is the most natural form of transport on earth.


Until the 19th century the human right of walking could take us anywhere. Now metalled roads have made this too dangerous. Green lanes should be statutory protected, it is a crime that they are not now, they support biodiversity, access and peaceful mobility. They should be linked up with Bridleways, footpaths etc wherever possible.


A working countryside needs proportional access that should not harm the environment. Rights of way access for walkers, horse riders etc should be enshrined in law.


20. It is essential all authorities sit down local communities, the local council, representative groups from planning to water, sewage, conservation's groups etc. It is imperative to include education and fun participation. Always breakdown to the democratic needs of personal intimacy within the understandings of our rural landscape, our historical inheritance that is critical to our identity of 'being in common'. The preservations of Commonlands where at best natural governance occured within delegation of a humane approach and associated traditions are key to that understanding.


The commons and community are our rural inheritance, pre-enclosure Acts and 19th cent Landscape Improvements as distinct from the Manor system, of locality and biodiversity .


21. To ensure good working practice of local communities, their autonomy a priority over political interests. That villages and local commonity have the last say over all planning decisions protecting green areas, woodlands, wetlands and biodiversity. With provision of garden farms combined with local business, skills and tourism ensuring a network of healthy countryside integrity. 


22. Local community input always prioritised in planning decisions as development impact cannot be divorced from public and biodiversity welfare. Weighted towards Nature Recovery and local community personal intimacy of responsibility.


Should be transparent, not bureaucratic in reference and with expert opinion resources widened to support local communities, not vested interests, political or financial.


23.The essence of democracy is locality, ensuring the welfare of the community in relationship with Nature Recovery and personal intimate understandings. These reflecting local traditions and cultures that ensures equality with humanity of understanding.


24. Industrial forms of Green technology should reflect the minimum use of rare mineralogy. Solar panels should not waste green fields when they are far more efficient when used where needed such as on large buildings in cities and towns. Ditto all other green energy forms. Turbines as at Watersmeet in Devon should be seen as relevent utility as local sources of energy within environmental conditions.


25. All present Nuclear Fission systems are not sustainable without huge harm to the environment with excavation of rare dangerous minerals and no secure ways of protection from nuclear waste. Without it we can survive, with it could be catastrophic.


26. Public transport and healthy alternatives to be encouraged. Motorway systems are incredibly expensive to maintain and railways the almost perfect way for goods and humans to travel long distances.


Philip C. Hills

March 2022