University of Leeds

Local Authority


Project Description

Planning services for a new football ‘community hub’



On behalf of University of Leeds, DPP were appointed to provide planning services in respect of proposals for a new football ‘community hub’ on part of the site of the existing Bodington Playing Fields complex, owned by the University and located in North Leeds.  

The site extends to 8.58 hectares and comprises existing grass rugby and football pitches. It is adjacent to the Brownlee Centre and associated all weather cycle track, which is used at national level by British Cycling. The site is allocated as Protected Urban Greenspace in the Development Plan and has a number of well-established hedgerows and trees, some of which were the subject of a TPO.   

The proposal was for a single-storey Pavilion building extending to 546 sq.m., three new all-weather pitches for either 5 or 7 a-side football and a 204-space car park. The existing rugby pitches would be relocated and improved.  

The project is a jointly funded by the University of Leeds, the Football Association, the Premier League, the Department for digital, culture and Sport, Sport England and the Football Foundation. It forms part of a national programme to implement a new sustainable model for grassroots football. 


DPP led extensive pre-application discussions with both the Local Planning Authority and Sport England, with the result that there was no Sport England objection to the scheme at Planning stage. This involved justifying both the proposed use and the impact on existing rugby use on the site. In Planning terms, DPP prepared a Planning Statement which successfully addressed issues of the impact of built form and ‘hard’ development on the open greenspace 

DPP co-ordinated a complex project and consultant team and prepared a comprehensive planning application, which was approved under delegated powers in January 2020. DPP organised and led on consultation with the local community, user groups and local Ward members.  

Image: DLA Architects


  • Planning Advice
  • Site Appraisal
  • Pre-Application
  • Planning Statement