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Licensing sports grounds and stands

General Information

Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987

Currently enforcement of the Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 has been delegated to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), to act as by definition the "Council".

This role requires the formulation of a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) consisting of Fire and Rescue (Chair), Police, Ambulance, Local Authority Building Control, Environmental Health and representatives of the stadia/stand requiring certification, generally the Safety Officer and Certificate Holder.

The role of the SAG is to advise, and check compliance with the guidance outlined in the "Green Guide". SFRS input has been extensive due to the role of chair and by virtue of the fact that enforcement is their responsibility and generally administered by the application of reduced capacities to Regulated Stands, of those holders not able to meet the required level of safety.

Currently there are eleven Regulated Stands in Surrey covering eight different venues as determined by the Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987. (Sandown Park, Kempton Park, Epsom Downs and Lingfield Park Racecourses. Woking and Staines Town Football Clubs, the Xcel Sports Hub in Walton on Thames and Esher Rugby Club)

Steve Viney who acts as the Fire Safety/Sports Ground Co-ordinator for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service undertakes this role.

In addition to administering the Sports Ground legislation he will also inspect and enforce the fire regulations where required and deal with all building regulations consultations with regard to alterations of existing stands or new build.

The SAG meet for each site annually at which time the "chair" would collate responses from all members of the group as to their specific area of interest/expertise, this together with at least one "during performance" inspection within the year and an audit carried out by the chair enables a decision to be made on the review of the certificate. The audit will result in many hours of work due to a physical inspection of the site and scrutiny of certificates and reports as required to be provided to the "Council" annually by the associated guidance.

All guidance in administering the above legislation makes recommendations on the appointment of a secretariat. This work is jointly undertaken by the centralised Business Support Team at Service headquarters and the Sports Ground Co-ordinator. It includes tasks such as the production of minutes, letters, reports and compilation of new and amended safety certificates. The issue of completed certificates must by law be advertised and all reasonable costs recovered, which the Business Support Team administers.

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How to apply and applications forms

What are the terms and conditions?

Please refer to 'Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds' sometimes referred to as the Green Guide which is produced by the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

How do I apply for a licence?

Please complete the application form attached below. Please send completed application forms to -

Care of: The Safety at Sports Grounds Advisor, Fire Safety Office, Walton Fire Station, Hersham Road, Walton-On-Thames, KT12 1RZ

How much does the licence cost?

The cost of a licence is calculated on a case by case basis as costs vary depending on the nature and complexity of the structure to be licensed.

What documentation is required?

A separate application form is required for each regulated stand to be licensed along with a scale plan of the sports ground and prospective regulated stand. Reference to other documents that may be required are contained within the application form..

When will a licence be issued and how long is it valid for?

Once issued the premises will be subject to an annual inspection regime. There is no time limit for a licence to remain in force for.

What if I have any queries, concerns or complaints?

  • Telephone: 03456 009 009
  • E-mail: Steve Viney via contact.centre@surreycc.gov.uk

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