The new Scottish Planning Policy includes some significant gains for playing fields following campaigning by national charity Fields in Trust and other organisations.
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust said:
"The new policy clearly states how access to open space helps build stronger and healthier communities which, along with encouraging Councils to create temporary green spaces on unused or underutilised land, is a very positive move.
"For too many years the focus has been on formal pitches with scant regard for the important surrounding areas used for training which were frequently lost to development. This led to deterioration in the quality of pitches as they were teams were forced to use them for training too.
"The new guidelines clearly state that training grounds surrounding pitches should also be safeguarded which is to be welcomed."