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Planning: Sports

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account her Department takes of the public health benefit of developments that encourage physical activity and sport in designing planning policy. (228694)

The promotion of public health and well-being is a central component of the Government’s objectives for sustainable development. “Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development” (PPS1) which sets out the overarching planning policy in England, requires development plans to support the promotion of health and well-being by making provision for physical activity, and to address accessibility for all members of the community to leisure and community facilities.

Specific guidance on how local authorities should plan for new sports and recreational facilities to meet the needs of local communities is set out in “Planning Policy Guidance note 17: Planning for open space, sport and recreation” (PPG 17).

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account will be taken of the public health benefit of developments that promote physical activity and sport in designating exemptions from the Community Infrastructure Levy. (228695)

As my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government (John Healey) stated when the Planning Bill was in Commons Committee, our principal starting point is that almost all developments will have some imposition and impact on the need for infrastructure, and some call on local services or amenities—including those developments that promote public health, physical activity and sport. For instance, a new swimming pool or sports centre will have impacts upon the local road network. In addition, exemptions to, or reductions from, CIL may cause complexity and distortion and reduce fairness. Therefore, the Government envisage that most types of development will be liable to pay CIL.

The Government will however consider the case for exemptions when consulting on the regulations to implement CIL, and will set out the exemptions available in the final regulations. Any exemptions we create must be legally robust and based on coherent criteria, such as those set out at page 60 of the CIL policy document published in August.

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