Scottish law moves forward on play


New Scottish planning rules mark a significant step towards incorporating children’s right to play into law and practice – leaving England lagging behind


A new ‘play sufficiency duty’ requiring councils to provide an assessment of the quality, quantity and accessibility of formal and informal play spaces is to come into effect in Scotland this month.

An equivalent duty has been in place in Wales for over a decade, but no such requirements apply to councils in England.  The Town and Country Planning (Play Sufficiency Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 come into effect on 19 May and will require councils to produce a report and maps, as well as consult with children, parents and carers to do this.

Meanwhile Aberdeen Live reports that under the new fourth National Planning Framework, local authorities will also be encouraged to support applications for the development of play spaces, parks and sports facilities. “The changes aim to provide more opportunities for outdoor activity and help implement a commitment to incorporate children and young people’s rights into Scottish law and practice.” Read more here.

Play news
Londoners who let their children play out are receiving warning letters from councils, threats from neighbours and visits from the police according to responses to a Guardian survey.
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A Japanese study has found that outdoor play can mitigate some of the negative impacts of excessive screen time in young children.


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