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Regulation of Safety certificate - sports grounds

​​​​​​Under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975, if you operate a sports ground in England,  that holds more than 5,000 for football or 10,000 spectators for other sports, you may be required to hold a safety certificate.

A sports ground is defined as a place where sports or other competitive activities take place in the open air, and where accommodation is provided for spectators including artificial structures, or natural structures artificially modified.

A safety certificate may be either:

  • a general safety certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity, or activities, during an indefinite period
  • a special safety certificate for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity or activities on a specified occasion or occasions

Safety certificates are obtained from the local authority in which the sports ground is located. You must comply with any terms or conditions attached to a certificate. These legislative provisions do not apply to indoor arenas, however, a sports ground with a retractable roof that is open for some sport being played will fall under the definition of a sports ground.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must be likely to be in a position to prevent contravention of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

Regulation summary

Safety of Sports Ground Certificates are issued under The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (as amended) and Safety of Sports Grounds Regulations 1987.

Application evaluation process

Applicants must provide requested information and plans to us within the time specified. If the applicant fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

We will consider if the applicant is in a position to prevent any breach of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

We, as the local authority must send a copy of an application for a safety certificate to the chief police officer of the area, the fire and rescue authority if they are not that authority and the building authority if they are not that authority in England and Wales.

If an application is made to transfer a certificate, the local authority must determine if the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred would qualify for the issue of a certificate. The applicant may be the current holder of the certificate or the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred.

The local authority must send a copy of a transfer application to the chief police officer of the area, the fire and rescue authority if they are not that authority and the building authority if they are not that authority in England and Wales.  They shall consult them about any proposed amendment, replacement or transfer.

Plans and attached documents submitted by the applicant should be clear and legible in all material respects, capable of being read, reproduced in written form and used for subsequent reference by our inspectors and responsible authorities. Where this is not the case the applicant / agent will be contacted to resubmit the plans.

Apply for a safety certificate

To apply for a licence contact the licensing service.

Tacit consent

No, due to reasons of public safety. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from this authority within a reasonable period, please contact us on the details provided.

Licence holder redress

Any Certificate holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, their safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate, or the service of a prohibition notice may appeal to the Magistrates court. They may also appeal to the county court against an order of the Magistrate's court.​

Other redress​

Any person (interested party) concerned in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the Magistrate's court against any condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, a safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety​ certificate.

Contact

01706 924327, 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday

Emergency: Out of office hours

Building Control
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU