Over the past two months Ian Dove QC, leading planning silk at No5 Chambers and chair of Ixia, delivered a series of talks on public art and cultural well-being. Public art think-tank Ixia plays an important part in providing guidance on the role of art in the public realm. It aims to widen understanding about the value, role and commissioning of public art projects – to which end, in May 2009, Ian Dove QC published Advice on changes to planning legislation over the last ten years and the implications of this for public art. Commissioned by Ixia, in association with legal practice DLA Piper LLP, Mr Dove’s advice was the first major analysis of the issues for more than 20 years.

In December 2010, Ian Dove QC reviewed the Advice he published in May 2009 in the light of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010, under which, contributions may be made, amongst other things, toward public art, heritage and archaeology. 

To explain and explore the current position of public art and cultural well-being in the context of the planning system, a series of seminars were held in London on 22nd October 2012, in Birmingham on 5th November 2012 and Sheffield 12th November 2012 hosted by DLA Piper entitled “Public Art, Cultural Well-Being and the National Planning Policy Framework”. With an introduction by Jonathan Banks, CEO of ixia, Ian Dove QC and John Holden a leader writer and thinker on cultural policy, gave talks that focused on the implications of the first time inclusion of cultural well-being in national planning policy through the NPPF and its implications for the provision of public art and cultural infrastructure. 

The talks were very well received and included such points as the purpose and status of the NPPF’s reference to cultural well-being and how it relates to the planning system at a local level, including CIL; the relationship between cultural well-being and public art; and the justification and inclusion of cultural well-being and public art within local planning documents.

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