Sports policy clarity urged

Planners have called on the government to clarify its guidance on development around major sporting stadia and training grounds located in the green belt.

The sector is awaiting a revision of PPG17 on open space, sport and recreation, published in 2002. Savills director of planning and regeneration Roger Hepher said: "Training grounds should be viewed with sympathy in the green belt. They are a key requirement of sport but are hard to justify in urban areas."

He added that the planning system has tacitly accepted this view for some time, as seen in the Arsenal training ground at London Colney and the Manchester United training ground at Carrington. But he insisted that the position needs clarification. Drivers Jonas senior planner Neil Lucas said current guidance is "very dated".

He said: "We need clarifications on the viability of enabling development around major new stadiums. There is an uncertainty about what is acceptable."

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