Assessing needs and opportunities

We've produced guidance on how to undertake an assessment of needs and opportunities for sporting provision

The purpose of the guide is to provide a recommended approach that will help the user undertake a robust assessment of need for indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

Download our assessing needs and opportunities guidance

The guide focuses on the practicalities of producing a clear and robust assessment to help develop and apply local planning policy. The guide will therefore assist LAs with meeting the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 73).

The approach has been developed so that it can be tailored to apply to a range of sports facilities.

Right facilities in the right place

The recommended approach is intended to help LAs (as the key strategic and statutory planning lead) to understand the facility needs in their area. 

This guide and our playing pitch strategy guidance (PPS) are complimentary with the PPS guidance providing the recommended approach for assessing the need for pitch provision.   

We believe that providing the right facilities in the right place is central to enabling people to take part in sport and activity.  An assessment of need will provide a clear understanding of what is required in an area, providing a sound basis on which to develop policy, and make informed decisions for sports development and investment in facilities.

We are keen to ensure that this guide evolves and is improved upon through regular reviews and updates. To aid this process feedback on its use is welcomed.  

Feedback, including good practice, lessons learnt and suggested improvements can be sent to our Planning for Sport team.