Planning for Sport Guidance

Guidance on how the planning system can help provide opportunities for everyone to be physically active

The many benefits of sport and physical activity, including to people’s physical and mental health, are widely recognised. Our built and natural environments are key to helping people change their behaviours to lead more active and healthier lifestyles and the planning system plays a vital role in shaping our environments.

This guidance, and the twelve planning-for-sport principles it presents, have been developed to help the planning system provide formal and informal opportunities for all to take part in sport and be physically active.

It is hoped that it will be of assistance to all involved in, or looking to engage with, the planning system in England. This includes local authority officers and councillors, planning inspectors, developers and consultants through to parish/town councils, neighbourhood forums, public  health leads, sports clubs/organisations, community groups and individuals.

Download the guidance

The guidance and the twelve planning-for-sport principles will also help to guide and support our engagement with the planning system.

Please note: This guidance will be updated as necessary e.g. to reflect updates to Government planning policy and guidance and feedback received.

Any feedback and suggested amendments/updates can be sent to

We are also now in the process of collating a number of case studies to help show how each of the principles have been applied within the planning system. These case studies will be added to this page.

To help provide environments that protect, enhance and provide both formal and informal opportunities for all to take part in sport and be physically active, the planning system should embrace twelve planning-for-sport principles.