New and enhanced sports facilities

Sport is subject to the same pressures to change and develop as other activities

Participation is evolving year-on-year, generating changing demand for facilities.

New activities are gaining popularity, some of which may require purpose-built specialist sports facilities, whilst others can be accommodated in flexibly designed community facilities.

Some existing facilities are in need of redevelopment or refurbishment to take account of changing activities and the higher expectations of users.

Planning objectives

Our relevant planning objectives seek to:

  • Enhance - ensure that the best use is made of existing facilities in order to maintain and provide greater opportunities for participation and to ensure that facilities are sustainable
  • Provide - ensure that new sports facilities are planned for, provided in a positive and integrated way and that opportunities for new facilities are identified to meet current and future demands for sporting participation.

When assessing planning applications for new or enhanced sporting provision we are guided by:

We are also likely to take into account:

  • Plans and strategies from the relevant sports national governing bodies
  • Information available from our planning tools and guidance (e.g. Facilities Planning Model and Active Places Power)
  • Our design and cost guidance to ensure the new or enhanced provision is fit for purpose.

Gaining support

To gain our support for a planning application, the applicant should demonstrate how the proposed development will:

  • Meet an identified sporting need (i.e. set out in a local Playing Pitch or Sports Facility Strategy)
  • Support the plans and strategies of the relevant sports national governing bodies
  • Ensure community use of the site/facility is maximised
  • Ensure appropriate maintenance and management arrangements will be put in place to secure the long term future of the site/facility.
  • Ensure a sports development plan is in place to maximise the benefit to sport of the development

The following links and documents provide guidance and tools to assist applicants in preparing planning applications for new or enhanced sporting provision.