Playing Fields

MQT on 2003-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2003
Question By: 
Noel Lynch
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Given the alarming rise in childhood obesity would the Mayor back proposals for a tougher regime to protect London playing fields from sale?



Answer for Playing Fields

Answer for Playing Fields

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am generally opposed to the sale of playing fields, but I have no powers to prevent schools selling their land. I would certainly back a tougher regime if the Government were able to provide one. However, I have put in place the strongest measures I can through the planning system to protect playing fields and other open spaces. The draft London Plan includes strong policy protection for open space, including playing fields, and encourages development on brownfield land. These policies amongst others are used to assess applications for development on playing fields that are referred to the GLA.

As boroughs have to take London Plan policies into account in developing their Unitary Development Plans (UDPs) there is also a strong policy protection for non-referred applications. In order to understand local needs and provision for various types of open spaces, the draft London Plan states the boroughs should prepare comprehensive open space strategies. I have recently produced a consultation document, Guide to Preparing Open Space Strategies, which sets out practical guidelines and best practice to assist boroughs in producing this strategy and improved references to children's play.

This approach will provide robust and up-to-date information that will assist in the protection of playing fields that are of value or potential value to communities. In addition, my draft London Plan includes a range of policies intended to promote public health and my draft Children's Strategy includes proposals to support action to improve children's health and well being, including initiatives relevant to childhood obesity. .