HC Deb 04 December 1995 vol 268 c102W
Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the budget in(a) real, and (b) constant price terms, of each education and library board in each year since 1988. [2537]

Mr. Ancram

The information requested is as follows:

(3) what estimate he has made of value of playing fields that have been sold off since 1981; [2673]

(4) how many playing fields have been sold off since 1981. [2582]

Mr. Ancram

Comprehensive records of playing fields in Northern Ireland are not held centrally. Of those grant-aided by the Department, 13 have been sold since 1981 and of these seven were on school/university sites, five were owned by voluntary sports clubs and one was owned by a district council. The total area involved exceeds 76 acres and the total sale value exceeds £4 million.

Two former school playing fields are currently on the market for disposal with planning permission for housing development. These sites have become available only because of the closure of the schools in question.

My Department is exploring, with the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland), the scope for introducing arrangements which would provide for consultation with the Sports Council for Northern Ireland on planning proposals which adversely affect playing fields.