Per public body Sport England, in the scenario of planning applications advancing for permission, figures would imply that playing fields are being protected.
1,138 out of 1,200 (95%) of concluded planning applications that affected playing fields in 2015 & 2016 improved or safeguarded sports provision were seen by public body Sport England, as a statutory consultee.
Any developments that could ultimately cause the loss of a sports playing field require the local council to get in contact with Sport England.
Unless the developer can demonstrate a scheme will lead to improvements or the protection of sport provision, the public body has said it is opposed to such applications.
46% of all Sport England’s objections to an application resulted in an overall improvement in sports provision, per their figures.
49/120 applications where Sport England sustained objections were either withdrawn by the applicants or refused planning permission.
Despite the objections, 5% of applications were approved by local authorities (62 applications).
Charles Johnston, the Sport England property director said:
“Playing fields are a vital part of grassroots sport as they are often the place where young people have their first experience of sport and develop habits that will help keep them active through life. That is why our statutory role is so important. I’m pleased the latest figures show that the safeguards we have in place are continuing to work.”
Data from Sport England’s Active Places demonstrations that throughout England, there are 21,866 playing field sites, which consists of 70,381 pitches.
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