Making public art a priority

New guidance to encourage developers to incorporate public art into new city developments at the earliest design stages, is being considered by councillors this week.

Members of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee are being asked to approve a new Public Art Planning Advice Note (PAN) which helps deliver public art through the planning system.

Enhancing the environment

Public Art is an important asset to new developments in the city, enhancing the environment and providing high profile opportunities to artists to showcase their work in public places.

New city developments over a certain size currently provide public art as part of their scheme. The Public Art PAN will guide and support this provision.

Good practice

The Public Art PAN has been designed to support the Public Art Strategy ‘One Landscape, Many Views’ which was approved last year. 

Aimed at developers, designers, architects and planners, the PAN sets out clear planning advice and good practice examples to demonstrate how public art can be successfully integrated in new developments across the city. 

They include the recent ‘An Alphabet for Black Rock’ project, ‘A Spring in Your Step’ – a 25 metre spiral staircase that springs apart across the façade of a building in the new Circus Street development, and ‘The Happenstance Archway,’ a pedestrian archway leading between St Peter’s Place and The Level.

Planning guidance

The PAN encourages public art to be considered at early design stages, and provides detailed planning guidance and technical information, including the information required at outline and full planning application stages.

It sets out the benefits of providing public art within new developments and the importance of working with recognized public art professionals.

It also refers to a new Public Art Developer Contributions calculator which developers can use to work out how much they will need to set aside, based on the size of the proposed building.

The advice also highlights the importance of community engagement and involvement.

Exciting and creative

Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee said: “High quality and diverse public art can have a huge impact on new developments in the city, enhancing the local environment and creating a focal point for residents and visitors.

“By guiding public art through the planning system, we can ensure that developers consider public art at the very earliest stages, resulting in many more exciting and creative additions to our city.”

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