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Sport England Planning Checklist

In addition to the national validation requirements set out within the Government's Planning Practice Guidance, Sport England recommends that planning applications affecting playing field land should provide sport specific information in line with the below checklist.

This information will enable Sport England to provide a substantive response to applications on which it is consulted. It will also aid the LPA to assess an application in light of paragraph 74 of the NPPF and relevant Local Plan policies.

The checklist presents the recommended requirements for all applications. It also indicates the information that Sport England recommends should be submitted where an applicant feels their development may meet with one of the exceptions to Sport England's Playing Fields Policy.

DocumentPresenting details on...

Required for all applications

Consultation Notice

1. The development proposed (description), timescales, case officer contact details and how information can be viewed.

Existing site plan

2. Extent of the playing field as defined by The Town and Country Planning(Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015

3. Location and nature of existing buildings.

4. Location and nature of existing sports facilities

(including the layout of summer and winter playing pitches).

5. Significant features (e.g. trees, slopes, paths, fences, sewers) ¹.

6. Existing levels across the site¹.

Proposed site plan

7. Location and nature of the proposed development.

8. Extent of playing field area to be lost (including the area covered by the proposed development and any associated works e.g. landscaping).

9. Location and nature of all existing sports facilities (clearly showing any revised locations from the existing plan).

10. Any changes to existing features and levels¹.

Supporting Statements

11. Extent of playing field area to be lost (area in hectares and see point 8 above).

12. Reason for the chosen location and alternatives considered.

13. Any proposed changes in the provision of indoor and outdoor sports facilities on the site (including ancillary facilities).

Required in relation to specific policy exceptions



14. Internal layouts and elevations for proposed new, extended or enhanced sports facilities (including relevant ancillary facilities)¹.

2, 4 & 5




15. Current and recent users of the playing field and the nature and extent of their use.

1,4 & 5

16. How the development fits with the findings of any relevant assessment of need and/or sports related strategy (a copy of, or a web link to, the assessment or strategy should be provided)¹ ².

1, 4 & 5


17. How the development will be of benefit to sport (including benefit to existing and potential users) ².

2, 4 & 5

18. The specification of any ancillary facilities e.g. floodlights¹.

2, 4 & 5

19. The specification of any Artificial Grass Pitch and reason for the chosen surface type².

4 & 5

20. How any replacement area of playing field and ancillary facilities will be delivered (including to what timescale).


21. How, for any replacement area of playing field, equivalent or better quality will be achieved and maintained, including³:

a. An assessment of the performance of the existing area;

b. The programme of works (including pitch construction) for the creation of the proposed replacement area;

c. A management and monitoring plan for the replacement area.



¹. Level of detail to be proportionate to the nature of the development and its impact on the playing field.

². Relevant for Exception 4 where the loss of an area of playing field with a natural grass surface is proposed to be replaced elsewhere by a new area of playing field with an artificial surface.

³. All details should be undertaken and developed by a suitably qualified and experienced sports turf consultant. They should satisfy appropriate Sport England and NGB design guidance, and have regard to Sport England's Equivalent Quality Assessment of Natural Turf Playing Fields briefing note.

Note: As set out within the Government's Planing Practice Guidance any plans or drawings must be drawn to an identified scale. In the case of plans, they must show the direction of north. Although not a requirement of legislation, the inclusion of a linear scale bar is also useful, particularly in the case of electronic submissions.

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