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 and you must comply with any conditions attached to a certificate.
Where to find help
You can apply online for the following on the Gov.UK website.
- 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.
- Fire Safety of Place of Sport Act 1987
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 If it is not provided within the permitted time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.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 it if the applicant is the 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 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 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 us.
You can expect to be contacted by an Officer within 14 days of receipt of your application. We would normally expect to let you know our decision on your application within 6 weeks of receipt.
Failed application redress
Please contact Cheshire West and Chester Council 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 or, in Scotland, the local sheriff 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 Cheshire West and Chester Council 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 or, in Scotland, the local sheriff court.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, further information about making a complaint can be found on the Information for Consumers page of this website.
Any person who is served with a notice determining that a sports stand is a regulated sports stand may appeal to the local Magistrates' court or in Scotland to the local sheriff court.
Any person concerned with ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the magistrate's court or, in Scotland, to the local sheriff 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.