Sport England intervention has saved or improved more than 1,000 playing fields over the last year.
According to figures from the grassroots sports quango, 91 per cent of playing fields that were under threat from planning developments (1,176 out of 1,272) in 2015 were saved, or the developments went ahead with improved sports provision included.
In 43 per cent of cases where Sport England objected to planning applications, its action led to overall improvement, while in 57 per cent of cases planning permission was withdrawn or refused by the local authority.
Nine per cent (115 applications) were approved by local councils despite Sport England objection.
Charles Johnston, director of property at Sport England, said the organisation took its statutory role “very seriously”.
“Local authorities are under considerable pressure when it comes to planning, including the need to provide more housing locally,” added Johnston.
“What these figures show is that by thinking creatively and working with Sport England, sports provision can be protected at the same time as much-needed development takes place.”
First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, 6 Dec 2016, written by Matthew Campelli