- RFU welcomes new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
- We have a responsibility to protect rugby facilities – Ritchie
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The RFU welcomes the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that was published earlier this week. We support the Government’s recognition that sport and recreation should play a key role in sustainable development and building strong communities.
In essence, the safeguards ensure that where development is allowed on playing fields, a like for like replacement for a lost facility has to be provided by the developer. This will protect the 400 or so rugby clubs that play on publicly owned land in a way that they were not in the original draft NPPF.
The framework places a strong emphasis on the need for councils to undertake local needs assessments for sport provision to ensure that there are adequate facilities within local communities. Sport England will continue to be the statutory consultee on any English planning applications that affect playing fields. Both these points were raised by the RFU in its discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Ian Ritchie, RFU CEO said: "We are delighted that the Government have responded positively to our concerns around the new National Planning Policy framework. As a national governing body we have a responsibility to protect rugby facilities up and down the country in order to strengthen our member clubs and grow the game in the communities around them."