Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Sheffield City Council: Internal Document - 28.4.1988.

19TH MAY, 1988


    1. The attached report and draft Policy Statement on "Art in Public Places" has been referred for consideration of this Committee by the Arts and Museums Sub-Committee (Leisure Services Programme).
    2. The report recommends that:
      • the appointment of a "Public Arts" worker in the City be investigated, employed by the "Public Arts" Company but co-funded by private and public finance, and
      • a "% for Art" policy be adopted by the City Council, applied to all future development schemes whether public, private or partnership led.


    1. I reported to the last meeting of this Committee that the City faces an unprecedented development boom over the next 5 years, in particular due to the World Student Games provisions, and the Director of Arts considers that this provides the City with a unique and major opportunity for a vigorous "Art in Public Places" policy to be implemented.


    1. The main implications for this Committee relate to how these policy objectives can be implemented through the development control and promotion processes.
    2. The need to promote an 'Art' content in future City Centre developments has already been endorsed in the draft Central Area Local Plan now "On Deposit". It includes the general statement "Developers will be encouraged to allocate a percentage of the cost of major developments to introducing new works of art in public places;" as well as more specific proposals.
    3. The principle of "% for Art" could be seen as an extension of these plan policies City wide. For City Council capital schemes each funding Committee's approval needs to be sought to involve appropriate artists at the outset or concept stage. Unfortunately this Committee's limited capital programme offers us little scope in the foreseeable future for direct action of this sort.
    4. However, if the Council expects a positive response from the private sector, development companies etc, then this is likely to be best obtained by our example wherever and whenever possible (eg vultures mural, steelworker mural, etc.).
    5. Art should be seen as an integral part of the design process, as part of the buildings or integral to the landscape treatment of the site.


    1. Acknowledgement of the principle of "% for Art" can be incorporated into Planning Briefs for all future development sites, whether on Council or private land, as opportunities arise.
    2. Whilst Art may be seen as a legitimate element of the design of major schemes, specific provisions will depend upon the successful outcome of detailed negotiations with prospective developers as part of a package of measures agreed prior to planning approval. In other words, getting developers to allocate finance for the Arts will be a matter of persuasion, not of requirement.
    3. Such positive measures may best be set down, if necessary, by mutual agreement under Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, which can be reinforced to commit Successors in Title by Section 33 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. (Section 52 of the Town and Country Planning Act, as previously suggested, is more appropriate for restrictive or negative covenants regulating the development or use of land.)
    4. In the end success or otherwise will rest with individual officers in development negotiations, and to assist with both their and developers' understanding of the Council's proposed policy and expectations a clear and well defined set of objectives should be spelt out by the Arts Department, in conjunction with the Regional Arts Association.
    5. Besides the statements on specific sites in Planning Briefs, a more general policy on the benefits and methods of incorporating art into developments could then be included in the Sheffield Development Plan, currently being prepared.
    6. It is suggested that both policy and methods of implementation may best be communicated by the printing of a small promotion brochure, and this Committee may wish to refer this idea back to the Arts and Museums Sub-Committee.


    1. This Committee's support for "% for Art" is sought, together with an indication as to how the Department of Land and Planning proposes to pursue this objective with both public and private sector development schemes. Having set an example in the City Centre, a comprehensive approach is now proposed for inclusion of Artwork in schemes City wide.


    1. Endorses the principle of "% for Art" within all substantial capital development projects promoted by this Committee (initially based upon 1% average).
    2. Authorises discussions with the Arts Department and "Public Arts" over future projects at concept stage, to assess a possible Art content.
    3. Authorises the Planning Division to promote this policy by way of Planning Briefs, Supplementary Planning Guidance and discussions with developers with a view to achieving Art commissions in their schemes, and where appropriate, and if necessary, reinforce Agreements under Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, and Section 33 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, and also by addressing the issue in the Sheffield Development Plan.
    4. Recommends to Arts and Museums Sub-Committee that they produce an information leaflet setting out in clear terms the Council's objectives for "% for Art", and how these objectives should be put into practice.

    J Winter

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