Public art is becoming a more important component within new developments, so much so, that the requirement is often drawn into planning conditions. These are often pre-commencement conditions to allow the public art to form part of the design, as opposed to a ‘bolt-on’, at the end of the scheme.

Some local authorities are more focused on this than others and this should be factored into tender bids for sites that may be subject to a public art requirement. It is important to note that public art is not merely a piece of sculpture. Whilst it may ultimately take the form of a sculpture, there are a number of other forms it may take.

The more crucial element, however, is the ‘public’ bit. This takes the form of engaging a local artist or art group, undertaking local workshops to get the community engaged and liaising with the local planning authority and local community groups.

The planning condition often focuses on the plan of action for the public art process, which then leads to the community engagement. All of these factors need to be considered in the project budget and the project programme.

ACD Environmental has a wide range of experience with the integration of public art and would be happy to offer further advice on the implications and opportunities, should this be of benefit.