The National Planning Policy Framework recognizes a social role for the planning system, and for the first time not just social, but specifically cultural-well being. This includes, as a Core Planning Principle, the need to take account of and support local strategies to improve cultural well-being and deliver sufficient cultural facilities to meet local needs.
Local Plans should include strategic policies to deliver the provision of cultural facilities, including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, planning positively for cultural buildings and guarding against the loss of valued facilities and services.
This is a new and significant responsibility, and one which, given the current financial climate, is going to be a challenge to deliver. At the very least, it is going to require a new understanding of how to measure cultural well-being locally, and approaches to supporting cultural well-being that are both affordable and sustainable.
Building on the Culture & Sport Planning Toolkit, Culture First is working with the Town & Country Planning (TCPA) and others to explore sustainable routes to deliver on cultural well-being. You can read read a recent article we contributed to here and we plan to continue working with cross-sectoral partners to develop guidance and deliver a practitioner event over the coming months.
In the mean time, it would be very useful to hear your initial responses:
- Are you already developing ways to measure and plan for cultural well-being locally that you would be happy to share?
- Would you welcome information on how it is being approached elsewhere?
Or take part in our Ouick Poll - it's quick we promise!