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Schools: Playing Fields

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what criteria he uses to assess whether the playing field of an (a) existing and (b) closed school is surplus to the needs of the local community; and if he will make a statement. (275633)

When considering an application to dispose of school playing fields Ministers take into account any authorised community use of the land in question. Where any authorised community users would be displaced if the application were to be approved, we expect the application to include a full account of the effect on those users, particularly whether their activities can realistically be moved to an alternative site on terms which do not adversely affect the users. They must also be fully consulted about any proposal to dispose of the school playing fields.

Any potential future community use of former school playing fields falls within the remit of the local planning process; Sport England is a statutory consultee in that process.