Planning applications

We have an established role providing advice and guidance to local authorities, sports clubs and other parties on a range of planning applications

As set out in Statutory Instrument 2015/595, local planning authorities are required to consult us on any planning application for development affecting playing field land.

The government, within its Planning Practice Guidance, also recommends that these authorities consult us on a number of other types of planning applications.  These include applications which would lead to the creation or loss of major sports facilities, major residential development (e.g. 300+ dwellings) and development which creates opportuities for sport (such as minerals proposals where sport may be an after use).

Further information

The following links provide further information on our engagement with, and assessment of, planning applications for development that:

We have a network of qualified town planners who carry out this role across the country. 

The information provided in the above links should help applicants and others understand our role in commenting on relevant planning applications. It also explains the information required to enable us to provide a substantive response to local planning authorities.

Aims and objectives and the 12 Planning-for-Sport Principles

We assess applications against our planning aims, objectives and 12 planning-for-sport principles - which can be found in our Planning for Sport Guidance.

We may also look to assess applications against relevant government policy and guidance including that contained with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Planning Practice Guidance.

It is our view that to ensure informed decisions can be made on the range of planning applications listed above, local authorities should have robust and up-to-date assessment of need and related strategies/plans in place for sport facilities (e.g. a playing pitch strategy and/or sports facility strategy).

Such assessments of need are required by paragraph 97 of the NPPF. Therefore, when assessing the vast majority of planning applications we will also consider how the proposed development fits with any assessment of need and related strategy/plan for the local area.