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Arts Development UK response to the National Planning Policy Framework Consultation (NPPF)

Please find a transcript below of the AD:uk response to the NPPF: 

“I am responding on behalf of a national charity: Arts Development UK (AD:uk). This response is in two parts: the first part is a short narrative response to the document, and the second addresses the specific questions set out in the consultation document. 

Narrative Response
Arts Development UK is the national professional body for local authority arts officers and increasingly other professionals working in the field of arts and communities. We welcome the overall aim of the NPPF and especially the stated purpose to achieve sustainable development and the desire to ‘create good quality built environment with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs and supports its health and wellbeing’. The recognition of sport, leisure, recreation, and open space and the role they play for sustainable communities is also welcomed, however it throws into sharp relief the silence on arts and culture.

We are very concerned that the NPPF, as it stands, will not be able to deliver on its overall aims due to that silence on arts and culture, given the critical role of arts and culture in economic development, local distinctiveness, regeneration and sustainable development.

The lack of acknowledgement of arts and culture in the NPPF contrasts with statements and policies coming from other government departments. These include ‘Measuring National wellbeing – Measuring What Matters’ which quotes the evidence of the DCMS Taking Part Survey of the links between taking part in sport and cultural activities and wellbeing; the CLG Select Committee report on arts and heritage funding, which stated that, ‘It is a mark of a civilized society that its citizens all have access to arts, culture and heritage’; and DCMS statements that the Government is wholly committed to arts and culture.  This commitment needs to be secured within national planning policy and in particular we would like to see change in three areas:

  •  The inclusion of culture as an integral element in Sustainable Development
  • Better definitions of leisure, culture, and community facilities
  • The inclusion of arts and culture’s contribution to economic prosperity and health and well being

 Yours sincerely,

 Jane Wilson

Chair, Arts Development UK”

 For the full submission to the NPPF, including more detailed responses to the consultation, please  click:AD-uk NationalPlanningPolicyFrameworkResponse final

The consultation period finishes today (17th October) and more information can be found on the CLG website at