HL Deb 07 June 2004 vol 662 cc18-9WA
Lord Moynihan

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the "loopholes in the legislation protecting playing fields" referred to in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport annual report 2004; and what steps are being taken to close the loopholes. [HL3002]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The following areas of playing fields regulation have been identified for possible further consideration:

  1. (1) Scope: The types of planning applications on which Sport England consults are broader than those relating to the Town and Country Planning Direction 1998.
  2. (2) Time-frame: Sport England consults on planning applications for any land used as a playing field in the preceding five years; whereas the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 applies to those used in the past 10 years.
  3. (3) Size: Sport England consults on any planning applications for playing pitches of 0.4 hectares or more in size, whereas the Department for Education and Skills defines a pitch as being 0.2 hectares or more.

The Government are currently looking at the issue relating to the size of playing fields but would like to see further evidence before considering any changes in regard to the scope or time-frame of consultations.

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