National planning policy requires local authorities to carry out an assessment of the needs for sports and recreational facilities. Information gained from the assessments should then be used to determine what open space, sports and recreational provision is required in the area. Bristol and the surrounding area population is increasing at a higher rate than most other parts of the country. The anticipated population growth will create increasing demand on sports facilities. There is a need to ensure that sports facility infrastructure is able to meet this increased demand. Having a sufficient supply of facilities, both now and in the future, is important to facilitate and encourage participation in sport, active recreation and general health and wellbeing in our communities.
The benefits of having a Sport & Active Recreation Facility Strategy include helping to protect and enhance existing provision; informing the assessment of planning applications and proposed developments; helping to prioritise deliverable projects; ensuring a ‘strategic approach’ to getting the right facilities in the right places; helping to address inequalities in levels of provision across the city and attracting investment from relevant partners.
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