Sport: Community Facilities
House of Lords
Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Labour)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the concern of Sport England about the impact of the new National Planning Policy Framework on protection afforded to sports facilities; and what steps they are taking to ensure that playing fields and other sports facilities are preserved for communities.
Baroness Hanham (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Conservative)
Ensuring that the planning system gives proper protection to playing fields and other sports facilities is very important to us.
The draft national planning policy framework seeks to increase planning protection for community facilities. The new guidance proposes to strengthen current policy by asking local councils to consider the availability and viability of community facilities as part of the plan-making process and to develop policies to safeguard against their unnecessary loss.
The Government are also introducing a new designation to protect valued local green spaces, which has the potential to provide additional planning protection to playing fields and other open green spaces.
These measures will also be supported by the community right to buy in the Localism Act which will provide additional protection for community assets.
We are giving careful consideration to the views of Sport England and other consultees who responded to the draft national planning policy framework. We are committed to publishing the final framework by