Calculating the Public Art Developer Contribution
The Developer Contributions Technical Guidance contains a Public Art Developer Contributions Calculator and an associated threshold level. This calculator sets out the methodology, thresholds and rates required for calculating public art developer contribution sums.
Once a sum has been calculated using the Public Art Developer Contribution calculator, the final contribution will be a matter for the case officer to test against other developer contributions requirements for the development.
Pre-application work - Public Art as part of an overall site design vision
The public art element of a development should be an integral part of the overall vision for the site and its setting.
The creation of a public art strategy for the development site can have a positive influence on outcomes for the layout and design of the final development scheme if it is considered as an integral part at the start of the design process. For example, in addition to the permanent artworks the public art element can include artwork for hoardings and other temporary projects. Where appropriate, the public art element may be discussed at Design Panel Review.
As a specialist area, developers are recommended to engage with recognised public art professionals preferably at pre-application stage onwards in preparing schemes for submission and for project managing the delivery of public art schemes.
Plans and Strategies to be included at Outline / Full Planning Application Stage
Public art plans presented by the developer at outline or full planning stage as part of the Design and Access Statement should include but not be limited to:
- strategic approach outlining the rationale behind why the developer is proposing a particular scheme – how it relates to the site and its uses
- artist’s brief/s - see the Public Art Commissioning Toolkit for more guidance
- proposed approach to community engagement / involvement
- arrangements for commissioning, including a longlist of artists if appropriate
- proposed implementation plan including phasing
- arrangements for project management
- budget allocation
- future maintenance, durability and Health & Safety
- sustainability considerations.
Where appropriate, final details (including detailed designs for any permanent features) should be agreed as part of Reserved Matters.
Public Art Delivery Plans
Applicants should consider including the following details within the delivery plan.
There may be some variation in detail depending on whether the application is for outline consent or for full planning permission:
- Description of the relationship between the Public Art Plan and the relevant local plan policies outlined in this PAN
- Description of the site wide approach to be taken toward artistic elements including:
- key locations
- reasoning and context or heritage as well as information on form, themes and materials
- Details of the selection and commissioning process for the artistic element
- Indicative timescales for the artist commissioning process
- Indicative budget allocations for the delivery of the artistic element
- Indicative details of ownership, maintenance and potential de-commissioning of the artistic element
- Plans for sustainability
- A Commissioning Brief (see the Public Art Commissioning Toolkit for guidance)
- Details of proposed community engagement
- Evaluation methodology
- Whenever possible, a representative of, or stakeholder with art expertise nominated by, the council’s Art team
Submitting a Public Art Delivery Plan to accompany relevant planning applications is strongly recommended.
Securing Public Art through the planning system
Public Art can be secured via a planning condition, or an Artistic Component Schedule within a s106 legal agreement made between the council and the developer.
Local authority planners should consider the use of appropriate planning conditions, a s106 Artistic Component Schedule and/or informative notes that can be attached to planning consents in relation to artistic elements in developments. Within this, the durability and on-going maintenance arrangements of the public art should be considered.
Delivering an Artistic Component Schedule contained within a s106 agreement
It is the responsibility of the developer and their team to consider and deliver artistic component(s) if there is an Artistic Component Schedule within their s106 agreement. These agreements often require the proposed commissioning processes to be approved prior to the artist being formally commissioned and prior to commencement of development. This is so that the art element(s) is considered as a fundamental part of the scheme and not as an add-on.
When considering a commissioning process to meet a developer obligation, the following elements will need to be managed by the developer:
- drafting a Brief – to include site details, the vision, timetable, costs and how artists can submit expressions of interest
- ensuring community engagement includes identifying local representatives for example neighbourhood forums; it is expected that ward councillors will be invited to the selection panel
- setting up the selection panel to interview shortlisted artists and appointment of the chosen artist.
Proposed submissions should be issued to the Planning case officer in good time in accordance with the terms of the s106 agreement for approval and discharge of the obligation.
In meeting the terms of the s106 agreement developers will need to consider the objectives below:
- Wherever possible the artistic component(s) being accessible or visible to the wider public – in or on the building
- Public art installations can be achieved through the uplift of costs such as through higher quality materials and bespoke design where the proposal is an enhancement to the immediate public realm
- The durability of the artistic component and ongoing maintenance requirements / arrangements suitable for the longer term.
On some major development schemes where developers are commissioning arts consultants, it may be acceptable for a reasonable percentage of costs to be met from the s106 contribution where agreed in advance.
Any installation proposals outside the development/on the highway may also require prior planning permission.
Community Engagement and Involvement
A key factor in good public art practice is community engagement. A sense of ownership, public access and contribution to artwork development can be harnessed through artist engagement where the council advocates that public art can be a platform for openly engaging with communities both existing and future alongside the commissioning process.
The community can be involved in the public art process in a variety of ways such as:
- ensuring that local stakeholders with an interest in the project are represented on a steering group, and potentially forming part of the selection panel; as happened during the redevelopment of the Former Amex House in the Edward Street Quarter, Brighton. The steering group can act as ambassadors for the project and provide vital connections and resources to assist artists in the creation of the final artwork or wider arts programme
- giving voice and value to marginalised and ignored people, groups and heritage within a community, and advocating for the necessity of inclusive, accessible art and design
- holding workshops to share skills and artist/curator talks to widen the knowledge of how cultural professionals work, including peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange, also artist-led workshops to co-create, co-initiate or co-design an artwork
- running artist-led activity or events to highlight the changes that will take place as part of the development, for example working with local school children or colleges to animate a place before construction begins with temporary artworks such as the use of hoardings around a development site
- holding a celebratory event to open a development or announce the arrival of an artwork, or the start of an event, activity or campaign and creating digital resources in order that the artwork can be more widely accessed regardless of geography and/or has a longer life.
While community participation and/or consultation is an important part of the concept and design stage, implementation focuses on achieving a high-quality artistic outcome informed by the artist’s vision in response to the brief. The Public Art Strategy sets out success indicators for collaborative commissions.
Commissioning an artist or designer
The commissioning process is set out in detail within the Public Art Commissioning Toolkit - an essential guide to commissioning public art.
The role of the artist in the overall design vision
Contemporary public art involves a diverse range of activities and outcomes. In this guidance the term ‘public art’ includes ‘design’ where the elements have been designed by an artist, or a design team involving the creative input of an artist.
For all developments public art should form part of an overall design vision, with concepts being an integral part of a building or its setting.
For larger projects a public art strategy or arts strategy should be produced at the outset, and a public art consultant appointed with the relevant expertise to collaborate with the design team. This is particularly relevant to complex projects and contracts such as infrastructure (using NEC Contracts) or Private Finance Initiative (Design & Build contracts) where experience of costs is required to enable realistic budgets to be set and provide a greater opportunity to consider a range of options and approaches for artists and not be restricted by the budget.
The Public Art Commissioning Toolkit sets out the commissioning process in detail and should be referred to when selecting and commissioning an artist or designer to deliver public art through the planning system. A diagram from the Toolkit demonstrating the Commissioning Process is shown in Appendix 1. The Public Art Strategy also sets out guiding principles - a checklist for anyone commissioning public art in Brighton & Hove.
The council is open to working with artists from all backgrounds and does not hold a list of artists to ensure a fair and equitable process of recruitment.
This is a major factor in determining the approach to a commission, the type of artist and the level of aspiration. Public art projects have a long lead in time. Artists need to be provided with sufficient time to research and develop their proposals, especially if public engagement is also required. The more time that can be allocated to a public art project, the earlier an artist can be appointed, the better the outcome will be. If the commission is coming through a s106 agreement, then the timescale will need to ensure that proposed submissions are issued to the Planning case officer in good time and in accordance with the terms of the s106 agreement.
Spending the Public Art Developer Contribution
Once a budget for a public art component has been agreed with the planning Case Officer the contribution may be used to cover for example:
- artist’s design fees
- practitioner/artist commission fees
- materials and fabrication costs and fees
- installation costs
Public art budgets can be used for artists’ design fees to enhance other capital elements within a scheme such as landscape design, street furniture, paving, wayfaring, lighting or architectural features to encourage high quality, creative design.
LookLookLook, Berrington Hall, Herefordshire, Studio Morison
A contemporary, geometric pavilion which is made up of a large timber frame covered with a light pink fabric. It is in the gardens of Berrington Hall, a National Trust property in Herefordshire. It’s shape was inspired by pineapples thought to have once grown in these gardens. The artists are Studio Morison (2019)
Image credit: Studio Morison Courtesy of the artists. Photos © Ivan Morison