Safety certificate for sports stands

If you operate a sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales which is not designated as requiring a safety certificate, you will still require a safety certificate for any covered stand that holds 500 or more spectators.

A safety certificate may be either

  • a general safety certificate which covers the use of the stand for viewing an activity, or a number of activities, specified in the certificate for an indefinite period which starts on a specified date
  • a special safety certificate which covers the use of the stand for viewing a certain specified activity or activities on a certain specified occasion or occasions.

One certificate may cover more than one stand. Certificates are obtained from your local authority. You must comply with any conditions attached to a certificate.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a general safety certificate, you must be the person responsible for the management of the ground.

To be eligible for a special safety certificate, you must be the person responsible for the activity to be viewed from the stand on that occasion, and have the responsibility of the holder of the certificate transferred to you on that occasion.

Regulation summary

Safety of Sports Ground Act 1975

Application Evaluation Process

Applicants must provide requested information and plans to the local authority within the time specified. If it is not provided within the permitted time, the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

The local authority will determine if any stand in their area is a regulated stand. If it is determined that it is, a notice will be served on the person who appears would qualify to be issued with a general safety certificate. The notice will give details of their determination and the effects of the determination.

When a local authority receives an application for a general safety certificate for a regulated stand at a sports ground they must determine if the stand is a regulated stand and if the applicant is a person who qualifies for the issue of the certificate. If they have already determined that the stand is a regulated stand and have not revoked this decision, they must decide if the applicant is the person who qualifies for the issue of the general safety certificate.

If the local authority receives an application for a special safety certificate for a regulated stand they must determine if the applicant qualifies for the issue of a certificate.

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. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate.

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, if they made an application, 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 will send a copy of the application to the Senior Police Officer for the local authority, the Fire Service for the area if they are not that authority and the building authority if they are not that authority and shall consult them about any proposed amendment, replacement or transfer.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. 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, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes Service or contact Building Control.

Apply online

EUGO - Part of the EUGO network

Apply by post

Apply for a safety certificate by post(pdf, 51KB)

Failed application redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a general safety certificate because they are not considered to be an eligible person can appeal to the Magistrates court.

An applicant who is refused a special safety certificate may also appeal to the court against a refusal based on grounds other than a decision that they are not an eligible person.

Licence holder redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any licence 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, may appeal to the Magistrates Court. They may also appeal to the County Court against an order of the Magistrates Court.

Other redress

Any person who is served with a notice determining that a sports stand is a regulated sports stand may appeal to the local Magistrates's court.

Any person concerned with ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the Magistrates 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.

Trade associations

Contact Building Control

Technical advice, site visit requests, etc

For Building Regulations advice, technical guidance and requests for site visits/inspections in the first instance contact the Building Surveyor for your area. You can find the relevant officer, their area and all their contact numbers on our Building Control Officers page.

General enquiries

For any questions or comments about the Building Control Team and the services we provide, use the following contact details:

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Environment Building Control
Civic Centre
44 York Street
Twickenham
Middlesex
TW1 3BZ

Complaining about a service

If you wish to make a complaint about our service, use our corporate complaints procedure.

Updated: 19 May 2017