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Arts and Culture Absent from Latest Government Policy Guidance on Planning

National Planning Policy Framework Consultation – Act Now

 The Department for Communities and Local Government has published its draft National Policy Planning Framework for sustainable development. Opening with the wish to allow people back in to the planning process and the indisputable statement that “planning plays a vital role in building our economy and supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities” the document includes economic, environmental and social planning policies for England and provides a framework within which local people and councils can produce local and neighbourhood plans. It however fails to pay any heed to the role of arts and culture except with regard to the protection of historic buildings and veteran trees, although knowledge driven creative industries are seen as part of potential economic development.

The Theatres Trust has issued a statement calling for “the policies on creating ‘sustainable communities’ to recognise that the planning system needs to deliver the right cultural facilities to meet local needs. As stated in the ambition of the NPPF it is through culture that we facilitate social interaction and inclusive communities.” The two chapters in the draft guidance that it is suggested that culture be added to are the Business and Economic Development’ and ‘Sustainable Communities’ sections.

Anyone with an interest in the arts and culture including provision for affordable workspace for artists as part of communities, particularly if you have firsthand experience of positive and negative planning decisions, to write to Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Minister for Planning, Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU and to respond to the online consultation – closing date 17th October. Please copy your response to DCMS ministers. It is clear that DCLG will only include culture within the framework (on a par with sport, open spaces, leisure centres, pubs and places of worship) if there are enough submissions. For the full document click: