12 planning for sport principles
Included within the guidance are 12 planning for sport principles. Applicable at all levels of the planning system, the principles will help enable and support healthy lifestyles, deliver community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs, and give everyone the chance to get active.
The 12 principles are split into four categories: overarching, protect, enhance and provide:
1. Recognise and give significant weight to the benefits of sport and physical activity.
2. Undertake, maintain and apply robust and up-to-date assessments of need and strategies for sport and physical activity provision, and base policies, decisions and guidance upon them.
3. Plan, design and maintain buildings, developments, facilities, land and environments that enable people to lead active lifestyles.
4. Protect and promote existing sport and physical activity provision and ensure new development does not prejudice its use.
5. Ensure long-term, viable management and maintenance of new and existing sport and physical activity provision.
6. Support improvements to existing sport and physical activity provision where they’re needed.
7. Encourage and secure wider community use of new and existing sport and physical activity provision.
8. Support new provision, including allocating new sites for sport and physical activity which meets identified needs.
9. Ensure a positive approach to meeting the needs generated by new development for sport and physical activity provision.
10. Provide sport and physical activity provision which is fit for purpose and well designed.
11. Plan positively for sport and physical activity provision in designated landscapes and the green belt.
12. Proactively address any amenity issues arising from sport and physical activity developments.
Please note that this guidance will be updated when required to reflect updates to government planning policy and guidance and feedback received. Any feedback or suggested amendments/updates can be shared by emailing us.
The design of where we live and work plays a vital role in encouraging activity in our everyday lives.
Additional planning tools
Active Places Power
Active Places Power is designed to guide investment decisions and develop sports facility strategies, while the Active Places Data Platform is the national sport facility database.
Community Use Agreements
We’re keen to encourage increasing the availability of sports facilities to the wider community when they’re not being utilised by the main user.
Facilities Planning Model
The Facilities Planning Model is a computer model that helps to assess the strategic provision of community sports facilities.
Significant areas for sport
The aim of significant areas for sport is to help ensure our most important sporting sites are fully recognised for the part they play in the delivery of individual sports.
Sports Facility Calculator
The Sports Facility Calculator can help estimate the additional demand for key community sports facilities from a new population.
Playing Pitch Calculator
This tool can help local authorities estimate the additional demand for the use of playing pitches from a new population.
Community Infrastructure Levy and Planning Obligations Advice Note
Advice on meeting the needs for sport that may be generated from a new development.
Artificial Grass Pitches Acoustics Planning Implications Guide
Details of the acoustic implications associated with artificial grass pitches and measures to reduce noise.
Sports Club Planning Application Guide
A step-by-step guide for sports clubs making a planning application.