The proposals are contained in a new pamphlet published on Sunday (5 March) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
A national approach to land use is more important than ever to tackle mounting pressure on the countryside, says the document.
The pamphlet argues that England's land is under an increasing multitude of pressures, from the drive for economic growth to the effects of climate change.
The current, fragmentary approach to land use fails to address the problems caused by conflicting demands, it says.
This is because dozens of different organisations are responsible for different issues when it comes to land, argues the pamphlet.
Called Landlines: why we need a strategic approach to land, it says a longer term approach would enhance both the environment and the economy.
Contributors include former environment minister Lord Deben, Woodland Trust chairwoman Baroness Young and architect Sir Terry Farrell.
Lord Deben, who served as environment secretary from 1993 to 1997, suggests the establishment of a government department of land use.
There is "no hope of sensible land use" while different departments have responsibility for different aspects of planning, agriculture, infrastructure and transport, he argues.
"We need a Department of Land Use which would bring the strategic elements of all these together."
Lord Deben says the "most urgent social need" for housing must not be at the expense of the countryside.
"Rural land needs protection not just for its own intrinsic value but because ensuring the vibrancy of our towns and cities demands they are intensified, not extended.
"Bringing home, work, leisure, and worship together reinforces communities, reduces the need to travel, and makes the best use of that scarce resource – land."
CPRE head of government and rural affairs said a national land use strategy would bring treasury and infrastructure officials on board with environmentalists.
It would also replace "piecemeal erosion" of the countryside with community trust.
A national plan for land would help to deliver greener transport systems, natural flood defences and sustainable housing.
It would do so by making it easier for organisations to work would a common goal in mind.