Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Outdoor Sports Facilities

12.14 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that planning policies should plan positively for the provision of sports venues, guard against the unnecessary loss of facilities and that access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities.

12.15 Outdoor sports facilities include pitches, greens, courts, athletics tracks and miscellaneous sites such as croquet lawns and training areas. These also include facilities owned by the local authority, education authorities or facilities within the voluntary, private or commercial sectors that serve the outdoor leisure needs for their members or the public.

12.16 The Open Space Strategy (2017) includes a more up to date assessment of the current provision of sports facilities and sets out the requirements for future provision.

12.17 The Council will seek financial contributions from developers for the provision of new facilities or the upgrade or renewal of existing facilities where on site provision of outdoor sports facilities is not possible. For new provision, developers should have regard to the Sport England Sports Facility Calculator when preparing proposals to determine the need generated by their development. The Planning Obligations & Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document gives details of how financial contributions can be made and how they will be calculated.

Protection of Playing Fields and Outdoor Sports Facilities

12.18 The important contribution that sport and recreation, as well as community facilities, can make in improving people's quality of life is now widely accepted. Participation in sport and recreation can improve the health and well-being of an individual, whilst sports clubs and community facilities can improve social interaction and provide a sense of community pride.

Policy GI05 - Protection of Playing Fields and Outdoor Sports Facilities

Built development will not be permitted on playing fields or on land last used as a playing field unless one or more of the following applies:

1. It is demonstrated that there is an excess of playing field provision in the area, for current and future uses of both the school and the community;

2. The proposed use is ancillary to the primary use as a playing field and does not affect the quantity or quality of pitches or adversely affect their use;

3. The proposed development is on land incapable of forming a pitch or part of a pitch and does not result in the loss of, or inability to make use of, a pitch;

4. The playing field or fields that would be lost as a consequence of the proposed development would be replaced, prior to the commencement of the development, by a playing field or fields of at least a similar or improved quality and size in a suitable nearby location and subject to equivalent or improved management arrangements;

5. The proposed development is for an indoor or outdoor sports facility, the provision of which would be of sufficient benefit to sport and recreation as to outweigh the detriment caused by the loss of the playing field or playing fields

6. The playing field does not make a visual contribution to the amenity of and its loss would not be detrimental to the character of the area