Bishop of Chelmsford asks about land tenure

The Bishop of Chelmsford asked a question on the use of land tenure and the needs of tenants, during a discussion on the establishment of a Land Commission to aid landowners and managers in decision-making on 22nd May 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his responses so far. Can he clarify whether the Government will encourage Defra to give regard to land tenure and, in particular, to ensuring that the tenanted sector is considered within the land use framework?

Lord Benyon (Con, DEFRA): The right reverend Prelate raises a crucial point. We talk about farmers and land managers, but those descriptions are too simple and generic, because we have owner-occupiers, registered tenants under the 1986 Act, graziers and farm business tenancies; it is an incredibly complex system of tenure. We are considering the Rock report and will respond to it.

Of course, the Church is a very big landowner. We want to make sure that it works alongside a great many other landowners, both large and small, to tackle these important issues, including feeding the population; tackling net zero; reversing declines in species; building homes; and providing space for people—all on a single piece of real estate. This is a complicated process, but it is one that we are determined to tackle.


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