Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Comment ID 8126849//4
Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Ensuring Safe and Healthy Communities DM71 View all on this section
Respondent Sport England View all by this respondent
Response Date 16 Apr 2013

COMMENT – Protection of Sport & Recreation including playing fields


Policy SP1 – Presumption in favour of sustainable development

Policy DM71 – Ensuring safe & healthy communities


Sport England acknowledges that the NPPF is promoting “sustainable development” to avoid delays in the planning process (linked to economic growth) and this is reflected in Council Policy SP1.  Thatsaid, the NPPF also says that for open space, sport & recreation land & buildings (including playing fields) paragraph 74:


Paragraph 74. Existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, should not be built on unless:

?? an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space, buildings or land to be surplus to requirements; or

?? the loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location; or

?? the development is for alternative sports and recreational provision, the needs for which clearly outweigh the loss.


The adopted Local Plan should have a policy that reflects this approach to protecting sport and recreation facilities including playing pitches in North Somerset.


We also note the allocation for the relocation of Weston Rugby Club (policy WSM14).  This approach follows exception E4 of our national Playing Fields Policy:


“The playing field or playing fields which would be lost as a result of the proposed development would be replaced by a playing field or playing fields of an equivalent or better quality and of equivalent or greater quantity, in a suitable location and subject to equivalent or better management arrangements, prior to the commencement of the development.”


 4.  COMMENT – Active Design


Sport England believes that being active should be an intrinsic part of everyone’s life pattern.  The master planning of new housing proposal has a vital role in providing easy access to a choice of opportunities for sport and physical activity to suit all age groups for making new communities more active and healthy.


Sport England commissioned David Lock & Associates to investigate the contribution that masterplanning can make to create new environments that maximise opportunities for participation in sport and physical activity.  This work including a developer’s checklist has been completed and can be accessed via .


Through an analysis of the current health agenda and urban design principles and good practice, the term ACTIVE DESIGN has been adopted to describe ways in which master planning can promote healthy environments through creating healthy environments through creating conditions for participation in sport and physical activity and the use of active travel modes (walking and cycling).  Three overlapping Active Design objectives have been identified that should be promoted by master plans: improving accessibility; enhancing amenity and increasing awareness. 


Sport England would encourage the developers to design future proposals in North Somerset in line with the Active Design principles.