New planning guidance hopes to make it simpler and easier for local authorities and planning bodies to provide facilities that enable people to get active.
In partnership with David Lock Associates (DLA), Sport England has produced the Planning for Sport Guidance that focuses on 12 principles which seek to help the planning system provide opportunities for all to take part in sport and physical activity.
The guidance builds on the importance the Government, and its National Planning Policy Framework, places on the need for the planning system to enable and support healthy lifestyles.
It's hoped the 12 planning-for-sport principles and suggested actions the guidance presents, will assist all involved in, or looking to engage with, the planning system in England.
This system includes local authority officers and councillors, planning inspectors, developers and consultants, right through to parish and town councils, neighbourhood forums, public health leads, sports clubs organisations, community groups and individuals.
Sport England's executive director of property, Charles Johnston, thinks the guidance will make a big impact.
“The planning system provides huge opportunities for communities to lead healthy and active lifestyles, whether that’s providing access to sports facilities and spaces for informal exercise or making it safe and convenient to walk and cycle to everyday destinations,” he said.
“Our new guidance has been designed to help the planning system take an increasingly proactive role in providing such opportunities and creating ‘active environments’ so more people can reap the benefits of improved physical and mental wellbeing.
“If you work in or are looking to engage with the planning system I encourage you to take a look at the guidance and help the planning system embrace the 12 planning-for-sport principles it presents.”
The guidance, produced with the support of DLA, benefitted from a range of parties providing more than 380 comments on a draft version.
Consulting parties included national governing bodies, planning and leisure consultancies and government departments, and the guidance will continue to be updated as necessary.
The Planning for Sport Guidance replaces and brings together Sport England's four 2014 planning for sport guides; Planning Aims and Objectives Guide, Forward Planning Guide, Development Management Guide and Supporting Advice Guide.
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