Sports ground regulation

Running track

The safety of spectators visiting sports grounds for sports, or other events is controlled by laws. These are the: Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 .

Building Control is responsible for regulating safety at sports grounds in Calderdale. It Chairs the Shay Stadium Safety Advisory Group (or Safety Team). This supports and advises the Holder of the General Safety Certificate on how to meet the requirements of Safety at Sports Grounds legislation.

For information, guidance or assistance organising a safe event at a sports ground in Calderdale, contact: Building Control Services .

Temporary structures and grandstands

The Building Control Service also control the erection of temporary platforms and structures used as grandstands for public entertainment.

If you are planning to use or erect a temporary platform, or grandstand structure, whether or not it is located at a sports ground, Contact Building Control.

The regulator

Mr Mike Terry, Building Control Manager, Building Control Services is the Council's nominated regulator.

Calderdale Council's Building Control Service (the Regulator) is responsible for the administration of the safety at sports ground legislation within the Borough. This role includes the issuing and enforcement of a General Safety Certificate for any designated grounds or regulated stands.

The General Safety Certificate requires the holder of the certificate to undertake certain specific actions and functions described within the General Safety Certificate to ensure the safety of spectators who visit and use the particular sports ground.

What is regulated

Designated grounds and regulated stands.

  • A designated ground is one where association football matches are played, the ground has a spectator occupancy of 5,000 people or more, and the ground is designated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
  • A regulated stand is a stand providing covered accommodation (whether seated or standing) for 500 or more people.

The purpose of the legislation is to ensure the safety of spectators who visit large or complex sports grounds for sporting fixtures or other similar events.

Exemptions to regulation

Sports grounds that are not designated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and stands providing covered accommodation for less than 500 people, are exempt from the requirement to apply to the regulator for a General Safety Certificate. However the sporting club promoting the sporting event is not exempt from the provisions of the safety at sports ground legislation to maintain a safe ground and safe events.

All promoters of sporting fixtures, whether sports clubs or other organisations, hold a duty to maintain a safe sporting event and ensure the safety of all the spectators under a combination of safety at sports ground legislation and general health and safety law.

For further information, guidance or assistance regarding organising a safe sporting event, or to apply for a General Safety Certificate, contact: Building control services.

For further advice on managing crowds safely and organising a public event visit Health and Safety Executive

Sports ground regulation application

To receive further information about safety at sports grounds or to make an application with regard to the provision of a General Safety Certificate for a designated ground or regulated stand contact: Building control services (The Regulator).

Requirements for an application

An application for a General Safety Certificate for a designated ground or regulated stand must include details and address of the stadium, together with details of the individual or organisation who will manage the stadium. In particular details are required of the person who is proposed to be the holder of the requested General Safety Certificate together with their competency for acting as the holder of a General Safety Certificate.

The issuing of a General Safety Certificate for a designated ground or regulated stand requires consideration of a broad number of issues to ensure the health, safety, welfare and comfort of the spectators. These include the management of the stand or stadium, the level of stewarding available, means of escape in case of fire, together with the location of steps, standing areas, barriers and guarding, and the provision of toilets. Other important aspects of a General Safety Certificate are the need for scrutiny of safety systems and certification of elements, services and equipment.

Information on all the aspects that need to be considered under an application for a General Safety Certificate are discussed within the current fifth edition of the Guide to safety at sports grounds (also known as the 'green' guide).

The time taken to process an application

Two months from the deposit of the application

Will tacit authorisation apply?

It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, contact: Building control services.

What might delay an application?

An incomplete application for a General Safety Certificate that does not address all the issues discussed in the current fifth edition of the Guide to safety at sports grounds such as:

  • drawings of the stadium or stand;
  • management procedures;
  • stewarding plans;
  • event plans;
  • safety documents;
  • risk assessment documentation;
  • means of escape plans, or the lack of evidence to justify compliance with the guidance; or
  • a lack of certification to prove that elements of the structure, safety barriers, services or equipment are safe effective and appropriate.


Public register

The Council does not have a public register with information on safety at sports grounds.

How to make a complaint or appeal

Contact Building Control Services , if you want to:

  • review or seek clarification of an existing General Safety Certificate;
  • appeal a decision regarding an application for a General Safety Certificate;
  • make representation with regard to Safety at Sports Grounds;
  • or, make a complaint about the service.

If, after contacting Building Control Services, you are still not satisfied, see: Compliments and complaints .

Other sources of information and advice

For more information on sports ground regulation, visit: Sports Ground Safety Authority .


See also