Making a planning application - a guide for sports clubs

If community sports clubs want to attract and retain participants, they need to be able to offer high quality facilities to all their customers. That’s why it’s vital that we do all we can to help them navigate the planning system.

Charles Johnston - Director of Property - Sport England

We, in partnership with the Department of Communities and Local Government, have published a new guide to planning applications aimed at sports clubs who want to improve their facilities.

We know that poor quality facilities are a significant barrier to increasing participation in sport at a grassroots level. All too often the planning system is viewed as an obstacle as opposed to a means of securing the best possible outcome, and when approached incorrectly can result in frustration, financial loss and damaged relationships.

Making a planning application provides practical advice that will help clubs across the country prepare their case and application in order to maximise their chances of success.

Step-by-step guidance is provided on the five stages of applying for, and securing, planning permission:

  • Reviewing the options
  • Preparing the application
  • Submitting the application
  • The decision
  • Implementing the decision. 

The handbook has been drawn up with help from the Planning Officers Society and a working group that included The FA, the RFU, the ECB and British Tennis.