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Community Use Agreements

About Community Use Agreements

Many good sports facilities are often underused when they're not being used by their main user. This can especially be the case for facilities on educational sites out of normal school hours.

As a result, we’re keen to encourage increasing the availability of underused sports facilities to the wider community.

When a provider, including an educational establishment decides that its sports facilities will be available for wider community use, it’s valuable to formalise this with a Community Use Agreement (CUA). This should help to secure well-managed and safe community use by detailing how the arrangements are intended to operate, and typically should cover things like hours of availability, management arrangements and pricing policy.

Boy jumping on small trampoline with two girls helping

Drawing up Community Use Agreements

To help with this, we’ve developed a template CUA that gives a clear basis for drawing up agreements for individual schools, colleges and academies. The template could also be adapted by other providers to help draw up an agreement for their facilities.

It may be appropriate to amend this standard template as necessary to refer to appropriate local partners, to reflect local priorities, targets and circumstances. If the template is used, the CUA will need to be developed in consultation with the parties to the agreement before being finalised.

Developed with law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, this template reflects our extensive knowledge and experience of CUAs and is the version promoted by us to secure CUAs for new or enhanced facilities through the planning system.

Please note, a different template CUA is available for use in relation to our funding of facilities. For information on the funding CUA template, please send us an email or call us on 0345 8508 508.

In undertaking our planning application consultee role, there may be instances when we’ll require a CUA to be submitted, approved and implemented to overcome our potential objection to an application.

These instances may include where securing and/or enhancing community use is proposed as one of the measures to provide adequate replacement provision and/or mitigation where existing playing field land or other sports facilities may be affected. This mitigation may be required for us not to formally object or withdraw our objection to a proposed development.

In these circumstances, we'd recommend that a CUA is secured through a condition on the planning permission for development. A CUA signed by all the key parties will be essential in such cases. A suggested condition is included within our Model Planning Conditions document above.

There will be other instances when we may not require a CUA but suggest developing one in order to provide certainty and clarity about the intentions concerning community access.

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