Will Hazell

Playing fields imperiled by new political loophole

Charity plans legal ‘lock down’ to protect against threat to school recreational areas

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The transfer of school playing fields is an emotive subject. When a field disappears, the change often can’t be undone. The loss of spaces for physical activity is all the more damaging at a time of rising child obesity rates.

In the past, those seeking to protect playing fields were able to console themselves that councils wanting to sell off school land first had to secure the approval of the independent School Playing Fields Advisory Panel.

But concerns are now being raised about a new “loophole” that allows ministers to step in and fast-track certain cases, bypassing the panel, if they ...

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