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New guide offers tips to improve sports provision

Words: Laura Edgar
Tennis court / Shutterstock_383677051

Planning guidance that aims to make it simpler and easier for local authorities to provide facilities that enable people to get active has been published.

Sport England’s advice focuses on 12 principles.

The organisation hopes that these principles will assist those involved with and looking to engage with the planning system, including local planning officers, councillors, planning inspectors, developers, neighbourhood forums, public health needs and sports clubs.

The 12 propositions are broken down into four categories – overarching, protect, enhance, and provide. They include:

  • Overarching

- 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.

- Plan, design and maintain buildings, developments, facilities, land and environments that enable people to lead active lifestyles.

  • Protect

- Protect and promote existing sport and physical activity provisions and ensure that new development does not prejudice it.

  • Enhance

- Encourage and secure wider community use of existing and new sport and physical activity facilities.

  • Provide

- Support new provisions, including allocating new sites, for sport and physical activity that meets identified need.

- Plan positively for sport and physical activity in designated landscapes and the green belt.

Charles Johnston, executive director of property at Sport England, said: “The planning system provides huge opportunities for communities to lead healthy and active lifestyles, whether that’s providing access to sports facilities and spaces for informal exercise or making it safe and convenient to walk and cycle to everyday destinations,” he said.

“Our new guidance has been designed to help the planning system take an increasingly proactive role in providing such opportunities and creating ‘active environments’ so more people can reap the benefits of improved physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Planning for Sport Guidance replaces and brings together Sport England’s four 2014 planning for sport guides; Planning Aims and Objectives Guide, Forward Planning Guide, Development Management Guide and Supporting Advice Guide.

Planning for Sport Guidance was produced in partnership with planning consultancy David Lock Associates.

The guide can be found on the Sport England website (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock