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Theatres Trust Culture Response to Planning Proposals

The Theatres Trust has now released its response to the National Planning Policy Framework, calling for recognition of culture within the planning proposals. The response aims to act as a guide and framework for those wishing to respond to the Government. The response can be found here.

 The paper identifies that the NPPF does not cover culture, the arts or theatres. It argues that if the NPPF is to reflect the Government’s support for culture and the arts in the planning system and offer clarity to plan makers they need to be included. It also argues that the omission of culture from the definition of sustainable development is not helpful as guidance from CLG on the Community Infrastructure Levy does recognise culture.

The omission of culture also has considerable consequences for the protection of existing cultural facilities and the planning of cultural facilities. For example, the reduced NPPF has removed policies within the existing Planning Policy Statement 4 that encouraged town centre night time economies through the provision of theatres.

There is also a great risk that land identified for cultural uses and unlisted cultural buildings could be taken for other uses that are promoted in the NPPF, including retail, offices, leisure and recreation and sport. Without national recognition of the value of culture and the role it plays in creating vibrant and sustainable communities, theatres, art galleries, museums and libraries could be lost.

 The Government consultation closes on the 17th October and can be found here. The CLG Select Committee’s Call for Evidence on the NPPF closes on Friday 9 September 2011 (details here).  This is really important for the future cultural landscape in England. Do take half an hour to read and respond if you can.