Fields in Trust protects parks and green spaces through Deeds of Dedication, Minutes of Agreement and Deeds of Covenant. As part of this protection we have a responsibility to ensure these locally-owned and managed sites seek our consent to undertake any changes regarding land ownership, land transactions, erection of buildings and structures (if these are not ancillary) and that proposed changes fit with the purpose of the site and benefit the recreational use of the site.
To establish whether Fields in Trust’s consent is required for a specific change you should first check the legal documents relating to the site. They may include Governing Instruments, conveyances, transfer documents, deeds and Land Registry Office Copy Entries. These documents will provide the basis and justification for seeking any consents from Fields in Trust. You should consider taking independent legal advice.
Even if a proposed change doesn’t require our consent please let us know about it through your Development Manager so that we can keep our records up-to-date regarding facilities on protected sites. It’s also useful to know about plans in advance so we can respond to local residents.
Fields in Trust’s protection is about protecting a site against non-recreational development such as houses or supermarkets. We recognise that some people may be against the installation of a new sporting facility on a site protected with us, but this is not something we get involved in. It is for the landowner to decide, hopefully in consultation with the local community. We do give guidance regarding buffer zones which we hope that landowners will take this into account when planning new sports facilities on sites near to houses, but it is not something we can enforce.
If you have a concern about any aspect of development on a protected site, it is best to contact the landowner in the first instance.
The majority of changes requiring our consent fall into the categories below:
The process starts with the completion of our Heads of Terms document, which should be signed by an authorised person in your organisation, and our Field Change Request application form. Please read the guidance notes fully when completing your application. For the majority of applications we will require various supporting documents so please ensure you provide them with your application or this could delay the process. As a charity, we do make a cost-covering charge for this process, which is payable whether or not consent is granted.
Field Change Requests are reviewed monthly and the Executive have delegated authority for certain types of requests. Most cases are reviewed by our Land and Planning Committee which is a representative group of Trustees with the greatest relevant experience. The Fields in Trust Scotland and Cymru Committees have responsibility for their sites.
Our Trustees consider each case very carefully and will consider any local opposition and support. Their decisions are final and there isn’t an appeals process. If a change to a protected site is something that requires planning permission, this is the opportunity for local people to object.
We reserve the right to refer any application to full Council, which meets four times a year.