§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will publish a draft planning policy guidance note on sport and recreation.
§ Mr. Atkins
My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have today published a planning policy guidance note on sport and recreation in draft for public consultation.
The Government attach great importance to the retention of adequate recreational open space in urban areas. The planning system needs to ensure that adequate land is and continues to be allocated for organised sport and informal recreation. The draft PPG asks local planning authorities to ensure that their policies address local needs, protect valuable sites and identify suitable sites for new provision.
It is particularly important to retain sufficient recreational open space in urban areas to avoid "town cramming". The draft advises local authorities about means of safeguarding open spaces while providing for necessary development.
The PPG also addresses the issues raised by Lord Justice Taylor in his report on the Hillsborough stadium disaster. It is the Government's intention that all first and second division grounds shall be all-seated by the 1994–95 season and third and fourth division grounds by the 1999–2000 season. The draft requests local planning authorities to give sympathetic consideration to development proposals designed to meet these objectives.