Sport England
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Precious playing fields are protected

New data shows playing fields across the country are being protected against development.

Our latest figures show that 91 per cent of all resolved planning applications that involved a playing field in 2014/15 resulted in improved or secured facilities.

Download the latest figures

One of our roles as the government body responsible for grassroots sport is to object to developments on playing fields if the provision of sport and activity will be negatively affected.

We will often negotiate a new facility being built or existing pitches being upgraded so that people are able to get active in their local area.

This year's numbers match the previous year, in which 92 per cent of planning applications affecting playing fields (1,176 out of 1,272) resulted in improved or protected sport facilities.

Headline statistics

  • 91 per cent (1139 out of 1254) of concluded planning applications affecting playing fields resulted in improved or safeguarded sports provision
  • In 43 per cent of the cases where we originally objected to an application, our intervention and further negotiation led to an overall improvement in sports provision
  • The rest (57 per cent) were either withdrawn, refused by the local authority or are yet to be determined
  • Despite our objections during the planning process, 115 applications (9 per cent) were approved by local planning authorities.


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