ixia’s Public Art, Cultural Well-Being and the NPPF events

During autumn 2012, ixia organised three free briefing events on public art, cultural well-being and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The speakers were the planning barrister, Ian Dove QC of No5 Chambers, and the cultural commentator, John Holden. The events were supported by No5 Chambers and DLA Piper.

The events addressed two issues:

  1. the relationship between cultural well-being and public art;
  2. the implications of the inclusion of cultural well-being within the NPPF on the provision of public art via the planning system.

Click here to download the paper which was the basis of Ian Dove QC ’s presentation.
Click here to download the paper which was the basis of John Holden’s presentation.

The key messages which emerged from the events are:

  • Cultural well-being is new to national planning policy. Its inclusion within the NPPF means that local planning authorities should plan for cultural well-being and that cultural well-being is a material consideration of the planning system.
  • There is no definition of cultural well-being within the NPPF and its references to cultural development, cultural facilities, cultural buildings, cultural heritage, cultural infrastructure and cultural strategies do not constitute a definition. Cultural well-being is distinguished from health and social well-being and cultural infrastructure is distinguished from community and sports infrastructure. In many respects the absence of a definition is probably intentional and certainly helpful. It means that there is flexibility in defining the term at a local level.
  • Cultural well-being provides an explicit national planning policy context for the provision of public art in all its forms if public art is defined as supporting cultural well-being. If this is contested then it is up to a court of law to define the relationship between public art and cultural well-being.
  • To secure opportunities and funding for public art it is necessary for a local planning authority to produce a long term policy and strategy which identifies where, when, how and why public art will be delivered as part of specific development sites and as part of the development of a place as a whole. The policy and strategy should form part of the local planning authority’s local plan. On this basis, Section 106 Planning Obligations can be used to secure the provision of public art on specific development sites and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) can be used to secure the provision of public art across the development of a place as a whole.
  • A long term policy and strategy for public art requires an evidence-base. This can include: studies which identify the social, economic and environmental impact of public art projects; and details about either historic or existing public art policies, strategies and supplementary planning guidance and documents and the public art projects that these have generated.
  • The value placed on cultural well-being and public art by local politicians and local people is as important to securing the provision of public art via the planning system as the evidence-base described above.

For further information about ixia’s work on public art and the planning system, including supplementary planning documents, CIL and Section 106 Planning Obligations, please click here.


No5 Chambers offers a comprehensive across the board service. Throughout its 100-year history, No5 Chambers has developed a reputation for breaking new ground and continues to be regarded as a progressive and forward-thinking set, maintaining its success in traditional sectors of law whilst offering specialist advice and representation at the cutting edge of newly evolving areas. Having grown to over 200 barristers, including 26 silks, No5 Chambers provides a first class service from its offices in Birmingham, London and Bristol.

Ian Dove QC is Deputy Head of Chambers and has particular expertise in planning and development. He is a member of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and Compulsory Purchase Association.

For further information call 0845 210 5555 or go to www.no5.com


DLA Piper is an international legal practice with over 3,700 lawyers across 66 offices and 28 countries. From its offices across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, legal and business advisers provide a range of services to local, regional and international businesses. The DLA Piper Planning and Regeneration Group brings together one of the largest and most experienced teams of planning lawyers in the UK. With teams of planning lawyers in most major cities, we act for developers and local authorities to assist in the project management of all elements of planning law; from planning appraisals, advising on environmental impact assessments, planning applications, planning, highways and infrastructure agreements, appeals, inquiries and judicial review.

We will support our clients throughout the process to ensure their objectives are achieved efficiently and cost effectively. For further information about our organisation and services, please visit the website: www.dlapiper.com