YP Letters: We need a strategy for managing our priceless landscape

A new approach to land use is needed in rurla areas.
A new approach to land use is needed in rurla areas.
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From: Jules Marley, Chair, CPRE Yorkshire & The Humber Region and Chair, CPRE North Yorkshire Branch.

ENGLAND’S green and pleasant land is under an increasing multitude of pressures ranging from climate change and flooding to food production to housing.

It’s time to stop and think and manage the land we have right now, to ensure that we have homes, food and well being for our ever increasing population.

We talk the talk when it comes to biodiversity, well being, food and farming but it’s time to walk it as well.

People count, people matter. People and the land need each other. This week CPRE released a new pamphlet, Landlines: Why we need a strategic approach to land.

The pamphlet brings together experts from a wide range of sectors to argue that England’s fragmented approach to land use, with dozens of different organisations responsible for different issues, just isn’t working.

Architect Sir Terry Farrell, chair of the Woodland Trust; Baroness Young and UK Committee on Climate Change chair Lord Deben are among those arguing for a more joined-up way of deciding how to use England’s limited land supplies.

It’s actually just common sense. It does make one wonder why on earth this hasn’t been done already. We can’t just keep making big decisions in isolation without considering and factoring in the bigger picture and wider pressures.

We need sustainable development in England and to get that we need a coherent Land Use Strategy to ensure that that we optimise the use of land we have to maximise those three key sustainable factors – social, economic and environmental.

We talk about brownfield first. It’s logical. Use up what we have before ploughing up food-producing land. It doesn’t happen in practice though. It’s less expensive and more profitable for the house builders and determined developers to use green field land.

Last Saturday Tom Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, March 4) expressed hope that Chancellor Philip Hammond would make a belated link between town and country to help alleviate flooding.

We hope that the Government will make a link between the two and create a national land strategy. As Mr Hammond manages the country’s finances, we want to see the same emphasis on managing the country’s land for this generation and those of the future. With a little joined-up thinking and a land use strategy, it can be done – and it should be done.