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Planning for culture, the arts and sporting facilities in sustainable new communities, November 2013

Culture and sport have been widely used to drive regeneration, build community cohesion and change perceptions of a locality. There are good examples of places which illustrate some of the ways in which localities and communities have used cultural projects to address issues relating to regeneration, economic development and community cohesion. However, it is important to note that in many instances smaller initiatives – such as involving a community in designing and managing a play area, commissioning a public art project, or rejuvenating a library – can play a significant role in changing perceptions of an area and in building local confidence. We should therefore make sure that the role of culture and sport in our communities is valued and given prominence, alongside provision in housing, health, education and other community services.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out policies on delivering sustainable development in the planning system and draws particular attention to the provision of physical, social, cultural, heritage, environmental and sporting facilities and opportunities, and promoting collaborative working with key delivery partners. As a Core Planning Principle, it states that planning should ‘take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs’. A Local Plan’s strategic priority should be to set out provision of cultural infrastructure and other local facilities for the area. However there is a lack of guidance on this in the recent publication of the betaNational Planning Practice Guidance in September to support the implementation of NPPF policies and locally, and many see culture and the arts as placing additional demands and burdens on bringing forward viable developments. 

The new Improving Culture, Arts and Sporting Opportunities through Planning: A Good Practice Guide was presented at the seminar. The guide was developed through collaboration with partners across the planning, culture and leisure organisations, and is designed to update the existing Culture and Sport Planning Toolkit(CSPT) to provide a gateway for access to more detailed information on the process and outcomes of planning for culture and sport. It supports the NPPF and will be a useful reference in the absence of further information in the Guidance. 

Presentations from speakers below:

The event aimed to help planning officers, cultural and leisure officers, professionals and delivery partners to:

  • identify and understand the policy hooks and requirements in the NPPF. 
  • plan for high quality sustainable developments and regeneration proposals through the culture offer,
  • use the planning framework to help drive the provision of cultural and sporting facilities, services and activities,
  • understand approaches to assess local needs and provision requirements as part of the planning evidence for your local plan and Community Infrastructure Levy, and
  • maximise the use of, and access to, existing information and resources to help you during the planning process.

The TCPA is grateful for the Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy for their support of this timely event. This event is being co-promoted with the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA)

 TCPA Fiona Mannion chairing the seminar

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