Playing Fields Policy

New guidance on playing fields planning applications will help protect the spaces where people get active

Cricket stumps on a playing field with young people training in the backgroud

Planning applications affecting playing fields

Playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England.

To help protect and enhance the provision of playing fields, Sport England is a statutory consultee in the planning system. This means that local planning authorities are required to consult us on planning applications they receive which affect playing fields.

We have a Playing Fields Policy in place to help us assess and respond to such applications. As a statutory consultee, significant weight should be given to our response in the determination of any planning application affecting playing fields.

Download our Playing Fields Policy and Guidance Document - MARCH 2018

*Last updated August 2018: References within the document to the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) have been updated following publication of the revised NPPF on the 24th July 2018.

The guidance accompanying the policy includes details on the definition of key terms and how we interpret them, how the policy relates to Government policy, how we apply the policy and its five exceptions, along with how to consult with us.

Key resources

To support our Playing Fields Policy and Guidance document, we've provided a number of key resources. These include:

Model Planning Conditions

A template Community Use Agreement

An Equivalent Quality Assessment Briefing Note

Design and Cost Guidance

Planning for Sport Guidance

Wider Planning Guidance and Tools (including Active Places Power and Playing Pitch Strategy Guidance).

Community Assets Guidance

Changes and updates

The current Playing Fields Policy and Guidance document replaces the previous Planning Policy Statement: A Sporting Future for the Playing Fields of England. The document below presents a summary of the changes between the two documents.

Playing Fields Policy and Guidance - Summary of Changes

The document was updated following publication of the Government’s revised National Planning Policy Framework.


We provide annual figures on the planning applications we're consulted on as a statutory consultee. The latest figures are provided below.

2016-17 Playing Field Stats Table

2016-17 Playing Fields Stats Regional Breakdown