Planning for sport, recreation and health

Runner Strategic planning is the process of identifying an organisation’s long-term goals and objectives and then determining the best approach for achieving them.

The strategic and policy context for sport and recreation provision and for meeting the health agenda does not stand still. The new National Planning Policy Framework, the Health and Social Care Act and the Localism Agenda will place greater emphasis on local assessments of need and decision making around proposed developments and projects at the local level.

New regulations concerning the Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 agreements, together with changes to the financial context for sport and recreation within local authority budgets, and changing patterns of participation in sport and fitness activities, are producing great challenges.

Advice on how to assess what facilities are required is constantly evolving, for example, the recent new guidance from Sport England on preparing Playing Pitch Strategies.
belap has been contributing to the development of new guidance and assessment methodologies since 1994 and has understanding and expertise in a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Agencies and organisations in the public, private, voluntary and education sectors and local community groups involved with sport, recreation and health need to be alert to changes in planning guidance and the way in which appropriate ‘value for money’ facilities in the right location, which are sustainable in the longer term, can be secured.

The clear and robust assessments undertaken by belap can help your agency or organisation to make informed decisions about the development, management and maintenance of sport, recreation and health facilities, whether these might be needed to:

  • inform the development of planning policy (e.g. in the Local Plan or neighbourhood plans)
  • respond to development management issues whether by informing planning proposals or assessing planning applications
  • contribute to an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) or the implementation of the Community Infrastructure Levy
  • underpin the production or updating of a facility strategy or a playing pitch strategy
  • support and inform the development of funding bids.

Our strategies have helped to secure funding for improvements and new provision for a range of different organisations and sectors.

For more information on what we offer, please see Case Studies or contact us.