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Sports ground safety certificates


If you operate a sports ground in County Durham, you will need to obtain a safety certificate from us for any regulated stand. A regulated stand is a covered stand that holds 500 or more spectators.

The requirement for a safety certificate comes from Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987

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.

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.

Application evaluation process

You must provide the requested information and plans to us within the time specified. If during the evaluation process we require any additional information you will be notified as soon as possible, however if you fail to provide the information as requested, then the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

When we receive an application, we must determine whether the stand is a regulated stand (if this has not already been done) and if the applicant is the person who qualifies for the issue of the certificate.

We have a legal responsibility to send copies of your application and consult with the following bodies to gain their views about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate:

  • Chief Police Officer of Durham Constabulary
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
  • North East Ambulance Service

Evaluation of applications to transfer certificates

Where applications are made to transfer certificates, we must determine if the person to whom the transfer will be made qualifies. The application may be made by either the current holder of the certificate or the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred.

As with applications for new certificates, we will send a copy of applications for transfer to the chief police officer of Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and the North East Ambulance Service to ask for their views.

Applicable fees

There are currently no fees payable for this certification.

Implied granting of licence ('tacit consent')

Due to crowd safety implications, it is in the public interest that we are able to process your application before it can be granted. This means that you cannot assume your licence is granted just because you have not heard from us. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within seven days of your application being submitted.

We aim to fully process a completed application within 60 days of receipt.

Notification of changes in circumstances

If your application is authorised, you must inform the authority about any changes to circumstances that mean you no longer meet the conditions for the authorisation.

Apply online

Failed application redress

If your application is refused, please contact us.

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 us 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 Magistrate's Court.

Other redress

Anyone concerned in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the Magistrate's 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.

Anyone who is served with a notice determining that a sports stand is a regulated sports stand may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Building Control
03000 262 832
Our address is:
  • Room G10-G16
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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