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Sport England collect information on all planning applications affecting playing fields of 0.4 hectares or more through their status as a statutory consultee. The following table shows the number of approved planning applications for all years since 2001 for which we have published data. These figures do not necessarily represent the ‘threat’ to playing fields, as many applications are from clubs and schools wishing to improve the quality of their playing fields and sporting provision. The second column therefore shows the percentage of these applications that represent a benefit or no change to sporting provision.
Number of approved planning applications Percentage representing a benefit or no change to sporting provision 2001-02 695 92 2002-03 807 90 2003-04 959 95 2004-05 910 95
Number of approved planning applications
Percentage representing a benefit or no change to sporting provision
Information on planning applications affecting playing fields of 0.2 hectares or under is not collected centrally. However, the Department for Communities and Local Government has committed to consulting this year on reducing from 0.4 hectares to 0.2 hectares the threshold at which Sport England must be consulted when a planning application for development is submitted.
We are committed to reducing the threshold for statutory consultation on the sale of playing fields from 0.4 ha to 0.2 ha and this topic will be included in the consultation paper on the review of statutory consultees to be published in due course. We hope to bring forward amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 following consultation.