Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by The British Gliding Association (PPG 02)

  The British Gliding Association's original submission to the DETR on 11.06.01 highlighted the inadequancies of the Revised PPG 17, particularly those of failing properly to recognise the needs of sport, both generally and specifically and the failure to give proper guidance to planning authorities or to set standards which will assist them in making planning decision.

  The Revised PPG has been far too general in its approach and fails to provide clear guidance. DETR has provided a flat and defensive approach to sport and fails to reflect Government Policy for Sport (A Sporting Future for All). It fails to acknowledge the need to increase participation in sport by young people or the wider community benefits that can be attributable to sport if managed enthusiastically and well.

  We accede to the request not to repeat our earlier submissions and assuming that those observations have been noted for future reference, we wish to devote this memorandum to the specific points raised by the House of Commons Select Committee.

    —  The contribution of the revised PPG to strategic planning for sport, open space and recreation.

  The revised PPG fails to justify need for sport or to provide any detailed guidance or specify requirements for individual sports.

  The Revised PPG fails to set standards on allocation of open space (eg National Playing Fields Association (NPFA)) 6 acres per 1,000 population yardstick in old PPG 17) and fails to upgrade or improve upon earlier recommendations.

    —  The contribution of the PPG to the provision of high quality new open space and sports opportunities.

  The Revised PPG 17 provides an excellent opportunity for meeting the needs for sport through the planning system but in failing properly to specify those needs, it fails to exploit the opportunity.

    —  The extent to which the revised PPG is successful in addressing the newly included subject of open space and reconciling it with sport and recreation.

  Open space is not a newly included subject? The 1991 version of PPG 17 Sport and Recreation set standards as guidelines for the needs for publicly accessible open space and quoted the National Playing Fields Standards. In that respect the 1991 PPG 17 gave better guidance to local authorities than does the Revised PPG.

  There appears to be no enthusiasm for sport as a legitimate land use and makes no attempt to justify the allocation land for sport or the recognition of Significant Areas for Sport (SASPS).

    —  The extent to which the revised PPG's treatment of open space will contribute to the urban renaissance, the protection and improvement of open space and improved living environments.

  Urban authorities are failing to meet earlier NPFA guidelines and urban open space is being built up with loss to the environment. There is much poorly managed land under local authorities' control.

  Guidance is required as to management standards for open land under control of urban local authorities. Many are failing to meet their obligations but the Revised PPG sets no standards. Injurious weeds, dumped litter and rotting car bodies do not improve living environments, yet that is happening on the urban fringe of many cities. Without proper guidelines, might that be considered as acceptable? Too frequently, areas of open space are taken over without management and attempts are made to justify the subsequent dereliction under the guise of "conservation".

  To what extent is the dereliction of farmland under the control of local authorities a reflection of poor management and to what extent does it reflect of poor planning guidance?

    —  The contribution of the PPG to achieving the Governments aspirations on urban parks and play provision as set out in the Urban White Paper.

  The emphasis in the Revised PPG is upon the allocation and protection of open space in urban areas. Chapters three, five and six provide some useful guidance to planning authorities which in many ways is clearer than when dealing with open space in rural areas as in Chapter four.


  In responding to the DETR consultation paper on the Revised PPG 17, this Association commented upon the lack of provision for airsports. The omission of aviation is already being raised at Public Inquiries. On 11 September 2001, at the Public Inquiry on Rochester Airport in the Medway Local Plan, the Inspector sought clarification as to why aviation interests had apparently been excluded from the Revised PPG 17.

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