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Community Use Agreements

About Community Use Agreements

Many educational sites have very good sports facilities that are often underused out of normal school hours. As a result, 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.

When an educational establishment decides that its sports facilities will be available for community use, it’s valuable to formalise this arrangement with a Community Use Agreement (CUA). This details how the agreement is intended to operate, and typically should cover things like hours of availability, management arrangements and pricing policy.

This should help secure well-managed and safe community access to sports facilities on educational sites.

Boy jumping on small trampoline with two girls helping

Drawing up Community Use Agreements

To help with this, we’ve developed a template for a CUA that gives a clear basis for drawing up agreements for individual schools, colleges and academies.

Developed with law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, this Community Use Agreement template reflects our extensive knowledge and recent practice in drawing up, implementing and managing CUAs. It’s intended to give the basis for the development of agreements for a range of different educational establishments.

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.

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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