CLA response to Government's 25 Year Environment Plan

11 January 2018

Response from the CLA to the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, published this morning.

CLA Director of Policy Christopher Price said:

“Farmers and landowners across the country will play a crucial role in delivering on this vision set out by the Prime Minister. The plan reflects not only the significant amount these businesses already contribute but also helps us all to understand how much more we can achieve in the future.

“The plan acknowledges the range of ‘public goods’ that are delivered across our countryside. It is farmers and landowners that deliver these ‘goods’ from investing in improving soil quality, to reducing flooding risks to homes and businesses and managing woodland. The Government is showing that it is listening to us and the direction of travel set out holds significant potential.  

“There is however much more work to be done to make these plans more specific and signal where the hard choices will be made. Much of what is proposed will require significant investment from a range of sources consistently delivered over decades.

“It also requires us to create market opportunities, whether that be to reward land use that captures carbon, manages water or provides offsets for the environmental impacts of development. This will be a big part of making this successful and sustainable.

“We need much greater clarity than this plan provides on the role of the local planning system. If we are to deliver on our environmental ambitions as a nation we have to rethink much of how we live and work. This requires innovation in house building, infrastructure provision and upgrading of business facilities, especially within farming, and that means promoting significant new development. Too often the impulse in the planning system is to interpret environmental responsibilities as a need to slow or hold back development, whereas it is by encouraging and harnessing growth that we are more likely to succeed.”

Click here to read the 25 year plan.