The payment of £1m of public money to stop a Norfolk farmer from keeping pigs on his land has sparked calls for a more "joined-up approach" to protecting UK food security.

The controversial deal was struck to prevent nutrients running off the farm, south of Norwich, and polluting neighbouring waterways - part of council efforts to offset environmental damage and get housebuilding projects moving again after a limbo caused by "nutrient neutrality" rules.

The issue highlighted the increasing pressures on land use, and prompted calls for food security to be higher up the agenda in policy-setting discussions.

Mat Waters, a specialist agricultural finance expert with Norfolk-based accountancy firm Lovewell Blake, said: "Government policies need to consider the importance of maintaining food production alongside environmental factors and the use of ‘public money for public goods'.

"There is a real danger that the reduction in hectares of productive farmland turned over to other uses will compromise our ability to feed a growing population."

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) claimed earlier this year that nearly 300,000 homes have been built on 14,500ha of productive land since 2010, with a further 1,400ha lost to renewable energy projects.

"We are increasingly seeing farmland being taken out of production for other uses, not just for development, but through environmental land management schemes and to enable things like solving nutrient neutrality," said Mr Waters.

"There are now many conflicting calls on our rural land, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to resist the call to use productive farmland for other purposes. But at the same time we are starting to see real pressures on food production levels due to climate change."

Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has recommended the creation of an independent UK Food Security Committee.

AIC chief executive Robert Sheasby said: "The unprecedented supply chain shocks of recent years have exposed the fragility of the UK’s food supply and its deeply concerning lack of security.

"Productivity in the agri-food industry is complicated and no one policy or innovation drives its progression. It is the sheer breadth and complexity laid out by this report which has led AIC to call for the establishment of an independent UK Food Security Committee."