HC Deb 11 January 2000 vol 342 c115W
35. Mr. Brady

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it his Department's policy to discourage the development of playing fields currently being used for sport. [103287]

Ms Beverley Hughes

Planning Policy Guidance note 17: Sport and Recreation already emphasises the special significance of playing fields and that they should normally be protected. The Town and Country Planning (Playing Fields)(England) Direction 1998 requires referral to the Secretary of State of planning applications for development of local authority-owned playing fields or those currently, or in the previous five years, in educational use, where Sport England has objected but the local planning authority is minded to grant permission. The Secretary of State then has the opportunity to call in the application for his own determination.