Guidelines for cultural planning are included in new Government Planning Practice Guidance.

Photo of Liverpool

ecololo (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

New guidance on local planning practice makes reference to the value of culture and includes a number of the recommendations made by CiPA, the Culture in Planning Alliance, which represents arts bodies including The Theatres Trust, ixia public art think tank, the National Federation of Artists Studio Providers (NFASP), Arts Development UK and UK Theatre. Planning Practice Guidance now states that “catchment areas of facilities providing cultural and social well-being” should be considered when defining “functional economic market areas” – something that CiPA believes will help local authorities and developers to consider where to locate cultural facilities and encourage neighbouring councils to co-operate with each other. The new guidance also means that when potential sites and broad locations are being considered for development, cultural proposals have equal consideration alongside other uses. A new section on health and wellbeing identifies cultural wellbeing among the issues to be considered in relation to health and healthcare infrastructure; and guidance on design recognises that “public art and sculpture can play an important role in making interesting and exciting places that people enjoy using”. Guidance on the provision of rural housing also now recognises that cultural venues contribute to thriving rural communities. Mhora Samuel, Director of The Theatres Trust, said: “Inclusion of culture in the new Planning Practice Guidance marks a real step forward in helping everyone to plan future cultural provision and the Culture in Planning Alliance is delighted to have been instrumental in making this happen.”

Liz Hill