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School Playing Fields

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes have been made to (a) planning guidance, (b) circulars and (c) regulations relating to development of (i) current and (ii) former school playing fields since May 1997. (94568)

In December 1998, the Government published Environment Circular 09/98, which announced the introduction of a Direction under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995. This Direction requires local planning authorities to notify the Secretary of State in cases where they propose to grant planning permission for development on a playing field where Sport England has made an objection, and allows the Secretary of State to decide whether the application should be called in or left to the local authority to determine.

In July 2002, the Government published Planning Policy Guidance 17 (PPG17) “Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation”. In addition to general policies designed to protect existing open spaces, sports and recreational buildings and land, PPG17 includes specific policies to prevent the development of playing fields unless strict criteria are met.