Playing Fields

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 4th September 2018.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what statutory or non-statutory guidance is issued by his Department to local authorities on the process of asset transferring playing pitches to community sports clubs; if he will place a copy of such guidance in the Library; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

My Department has not published guidance specifically for local authorities on the process of asset transferring of playing pitches to community sports clubs. However, we have developed over the years a series of guidance and resources to support local authorities and community groups through the process of asset transfer, management and ownership of important community assets such as local sport facilities. The http://www.mycommunity.org.uk/ website holds a wealth of resources on asset transfer and includes a legal process map: https://mycommunity.org.uk/resources/community-asset-transfer-legal-process-map/ and case studies to help local authorities and community groups navigate through complex issues. A useful case study of the transfer of Mitcham Cricket Green can be found at: https://mycommunity.org.uk/case_study/mitcham-cricket-green-conservation-area-conducting-asset-transfers-in-difficult-private-ownership/.

Sport England also publishes non-statutory guidance on how organisations can undertake community asset transfer. Guidance and a toolkit can be found at the following link: https://www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/community-asset-transfer/about/. Sport England’s asset transfer toolkit provides information on six areas:

  1. Understanding Asset Transfer
  2. Getting Started
  3. Getting Transfer Ready
  4. Taking a Stake in an Asset
  5. Property Development
  6. Premises Management

This toolkit complements the free guidance on Sport England’s Club Matters website which is designed for community sports clubs which may be looking at asset transfer for their own club’s development. Please visit: http://www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/club-planning/planning/facilities/community-assets-guidance/.

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