HC Deb 27 February 1996 vol 272 c454W
Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will collate figures on the number of acres of playing fields on which development has been refused; and if he will make a statement. [15752]

Sir Paul Beresford

My Department does not hold information on this basis. The Sports Council is compiling a register of sports pitches under threat from proposals for development, but even this would not answer the question.

Local planning authorities have been advised, in planning policy guidance note 17(PPG17), to consider the longer-term need for playing fields, both by schools and the wider community. In addition, before allowing their development, authorities should consider proposals against policies in the local plan, including the need for public open space. Last July the Government published their sports White Paper, "Sport: Raising the Game", which makes it clear that the Government are concerned about the fate of all playing fields, not only those used by schools. The Government are currently consulting on a proposal that the Sports Council should be made a statutory consultee on planning proposals affecting all playing fields. This would ensure that local planning authorities are aware of any deficiency in playing field provision in making any decision on proposals to develop playing fields.

Forward to