The Planning System and Process

Public Art, Cultural Well-Being and the  National Planning Policy Framework (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 for more information and to download the papers which were the basis of Ian’s and John’s presentations.

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Publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on 17th March 2012

The government published the NPPF on the 27th March 2012. ixia welcomes the inclusion and prominence given to cultural well-being and good design within the NPPF.

Click here for more information.

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Update on the inclusion of culture within the NPPF

On Monday 23rd January 2012, members of the House of Lords questioned the government on the inclusion of culture within the NPPF. The government confirmed that the issue was under consideration.

This followed on from the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee stating, on 15th December, that it sees ‘a compelling case’ for the inclusion of ‘a cultural dimension as part of the social pillar of the definition of sustainable development’ within the NPPF.

Click here to watch the House of Lords debate on the Parliament website. The discussion begins at 14.59.54 according to the video timer. Click here to read the written transcript of the debate.

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MPs support the inclusion of ‘culture’ within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has stated that it sees ‘a compelling case’ for the inclusion of ‘a cultural dimension as part of the social pillar of the definition of sustainable development’ within the NPPF. It has also stated that the Government should ‘clarify the policy position on town centres with respect to arts, culture and tourism uses’ and ‘reassure local authorities that they are permitted to take into account in their Local Plans issues that are not explicitly referred to in the Framework.’ By making these comments, the Committee has recognised that the draft NPPF did not promote or protect the contribution that cultural activities make to sustainable development.

Jonathan Banks, ixia’s Chief Executive, said ‘we are pleased with the Committee’s support for cultural activities and are looking forward to commenting on the Government’s response’.

The Committee was invited by the Government to review the draft NPPF, a process which included a call for evidence from external organisations and individuals. Its comments are an acknowledgement of the significant number of submissions which ‘drew attention to the lack of specific references to culture and the arts.’

The Committee’s report is currently being considered by the Government. ixia will keep you updated on any further developments.

To read the Committee’s report click here.

To read responses to the draft NPPF by ixia and other organisations, please click here.

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Public Art, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Planning Obligations, Published 5th October 2011

ixia has published a Note which explains our current thinking on the relationship between public art, CIL and planning obligations. Specifically, this Note includes:

  • information about CIL;
  • advice regarding the development and implementation of public art projects as part of community infrastructure projects funded via CIL;
  • advice regarding the development and implementation of public art projects as part of specific development projects funded via planning obligations.

To download ixia’s Note, please click here.

Over the coming months, ixia will issue further Notes on the subject. For example, ixia is currently considering the funding of public art projects as standalone items under CIL and the use of planning conditions to secure public art projects within the context of CIL.

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Cultural organisations respond to the draft NPPF

In addition to ixia’s response to the Government’s consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), a number of other organisations have also published response papers:

  • Click here to read the Theatres Trust’s response paper;
  • Click here to read the National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers (NFASP)’s response paper;
  • Click here to read ACE’s response;
  • Click here to read Arts Development UK’s response paper;
  • Click here to read the joint response.

All these responses recognise that, in attempting to streamline the number of pages of planning policy, the NPPF does not reference arts and culture. Whilst leisure, sports and heritage are explicitly recognised in the draft NPPF, arts and culture have been omitted. These responses all request that explicit reference is made in the NPPF to culture and to its role as an essential component of balanced sustainable development. To read ixia’s response, please click here.

In addition, in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph published on 2nd October, 20 major arts organisations jointly called for the inclusion of culture in the NPPF in response to the lack of recognition of culture and the arts in the Communities and Local Government department’s draft NPPF.

The government’s deadline for responses was on 17th October 2011. We will keep you updated on the progress of the NPPF over the coming months.

Click here to download the joint letter from national arts organisations.

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National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

September 2011: ixia has prepared a response to the Government’s consultation on the draft NPPF. The draft NPPF does not make any reference to the role of cultural activities, including public art, in supporting sustainable development.

To ensure that public art continues to be supported via the planning system, it is critical that public art is properly represented within national planning policies. Therefore, ixia urges you to respond to the Government’s consultation, using our response to inform your comments. The government’s deadline for responses is 17th October 2011.

For further information and to read ixia’s response, please click here.

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February 2011: ixia prepared a note in response to the Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) invitation to organisations and individuals to offer suggestions on the priorities and policies which should be included within the NPPF. DCLG’s overall aim for the NPPF is to provide a shorter, more decentralised and less bureaucratic approach to the articulation and implementation of national planning policy statements, circulars and guidance documents.

 

ixia’s response requests that the NPPF makes reference to public art, either independently or as part of a definition of culture, cultural infrastructure and cultural activities. Click here to download ixia’s response document.

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Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Click here to view ixia’s response to DCLG’s July 2009 consultation document, Community Infrastructure Levy: Detailed proposals and draft regulations for the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy.

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Over the last ten years the planning system has been, and continues to be, reformed to support the delivery of the Government’s Sustainable Communities agenda – the social, economic and environmental development of places. Over the same period, public art has become seen as a key ingredient in the success of development and regeneration initiatives. Therefore, ixia, in partnership with international legal practice DLA Piper LLP, has sought the advice of Ian Dove QC at No5 Chambers on the relationship between public art and the planning system. The last time this was done was in 1988 by Robert Carnwath QC. For more information, click here.

The Planning Bill, introduced in 2007, has now been enacted as the Planning Act 2008 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has become a reality. ixia will issue further information regarding CIL, the arts and public art once the Government releases detailed guidance about the Levy later this year. For ixia’s current views on CIL, please refer to our April 2008 and September 2008 updates. The issues described here are still relevant.

In July 2007, ixia published a review of policy, guidance and practice regarding public art and the planning system and process in England. The findings of the review provide guidance on the preparation of a supplementary planning document for public art. Ian Dove QC’s Advice supports the recommendations in this guidance. Free copies of ixia’s review can be downloaded here.

During 2007-2009, ixia held a number of training Seminars to deliver the findings of its ongoing review. Following the success of these Seminars, and in response to the demands of attendees, ixia is reviewing the ways in which we can deliver training and provide sustained and long-term support to individuals within the public art sector. Further information about these training opportunities will be available shortly – keep checking the Training section of the website and sign up to our e-mail updates to be the first to know!

Please note: our Planning Research is ongoing, and ixia welcomes your comments and feedback by email.