Leisure Opportunities - Sports playing fields receive protection under government's new National Planning Policy Framework
30 Jul 2014 Leisure jobs, news, training, tenders & property
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Leisure news
27 Mar 2012
Planning safeguards for playing fields

BY Pete Hayman

The government has included safeguards to protect sports playing fields from development in its new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published today (27 March).

Planning minister Greg Clark announced the launch of the new 50-page document, which is designed to simplify the UK planning process and better support economic growth.

The new NPPF only allows the development of existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land if it involves the creation of equivalent or improved facilities elsewhere.

Alternatively, playing fields will only be made available for development if it leads to sports provision where the benefits outweigh the losses or if the land is found to be surplus to requirements.

Sport England will continue to be formally consulted on any relevant planning applications in England and has welcomed the safeguards included in the NPPF.

"This framework will help to ensure that playing fields across the country are protected for the next generation to enjoy," said Sport England chair Richard Lewis.

"Alongside the government's Lottery reforms, which are enabling us to invest in even more grassroots sports facilities around the country, it demonstrates the government's commitment to community sport."

The new NPPF also contains "robust protections" for natural and historical sites, including Green Belt land, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Greg Clark said: "We have confirmed the core reforms, sharpened the definition of the policies, and emphasised the essential balance that the planning system must achieve."

Details: www.communities.gov.uk

Image: Neil Lang/shutterstock.com

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