§ Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What statutory controls there are over the disposal of playing fields by local authorities for development: and whether Bristol City Council have complied with these controls in the case of Filwood playing fields.
§ Baroness Hayman
There are no general statutory controls which apply specifically to the disposal of playing field land for development. However, specific controls may apply in particular circumstances; for example, where a local authority wish to dispose of land under planning or local government legislation at less than the best consideration that can reasonably be obtained, and, in the case of school playing fields, where regulations prescribe minimum area and quality standards.
Bristol City Council submitted an application to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, on 22 October 1997. seeking approval to the disposal of part of the playing fields under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972. It is for the council to ensure that they comply with any relevant statutory requirements. In particular, they will need to advertise the disposal of open space and to consider objections received before the Secretary of State can consider the application.