Planning Permission for Sports Facilities

Every new sports pitch, track, or MUGA will require planning permission before being built. The planning process from presentation to decision usually takes between eight to twelve weeks and there is a volume of information required prior to an application being submitted.

Applicants must show that the facility being planned either enhances existing facilities by improving their quality (for example, a grass football pitch upgraded to a 3G pitch that could be used more days per year), or provides a new facility that is fit to meet the demand for increased future participation.


Our services | Planning

Blakedown Sport & Play have the knowledge and expertise to advise on all aspects of the planning process, on Sport England's own planning policy.

As well as providing planning advice ourselves, we can also put clients in touch with an independent consultant for information about facilities planning in their local area.


Factors to Consider

Making a clear statement of objectives

Sport England and planning officers will want to see a clear vision of why the facility is being built and how it will benefit its users.

Sustainability and Legacy

The National Planning Policy Framework stipulates that the role of sport is to develop healthy and sustainable community living. Applicants should consider the long-term impact that the sports facility will have on improving the health and well-being of potential stakeholders.

Preparing an application

Planning permission is a legal process and so comes with stipulations, conditions, and deadlines. Securing the help of an experienced contractor such as Blakedown, or a designated planning consultant, is advantageous.

Environmental impact

The environmental impact of a sports facility is a factor that must be considered when planning. Can the floodlights be solar-powered? Will the light-spill affect the surrounding neighbourhood? Must the drainage system be specially equipped to handle flooding? Can recycled materials be used? Planning officers will like to see that 'green' solutions have been introduced to the build.