Public art and the planning system

Major developments require a commitment to Public Art

As a general rule, when considering development proposals, the commitment to include Public Art will be acknowledged at pre-application stage and formally documented at outline planning stage, as the applicant and local authority establish an agreement “in principle” to the scale and nature of a development.

A public arts statement will be required for major developments with public art contributions. This will usually be submitted as part of the full or detailed planning application but may well be documented prior to this stage, particularly if there are opportunities for artist involvement in the master planning stage. The involvement of an artist is encouraged at the earliest possible stage in the planning of the development, that way the public art elements can be fully integrated into the fabric of the building or public space. This both maximises the budget and impact and avoids additional costs in ‘adding-on’ at a later date.

The public art statement needs to demonstrate how the developer has provided and will provide opportunities for artists within the development.  Information from the public art statement will inform the section 106 agreement or the planning conditions focusing on public art for that development. The content of the statement will vary depending on the scale and nature of the development and the stage reached in the commissioning process.

Download our Public Art Statement document to find out more about how to prepare and submit a statement.