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Decision details

S106 Public Art and Public Realm Issues

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider the way forward for (i) the use of available off-site public art S106 funding, (ii) proposed arrangements for the next S106 public art grant-funding round and (iii) a number of public art and public realm projects already allocated S106 funding (including the River Cam public art programme).


Public Question

A member of the public asked a question as set out below.


Mrs Stubbs raised the following points:

  i.  Other countries were better at public art.

  ii.  Asked the Council to be more open about public art criteria and who made decisions about it (ie how public art was selected). Requested the Council reviewed this as s106 funding was coming to an end.


The Streets and Open Spaces Development Manager responded, the Public Art Advisory Group met every eight weeks to give advice on public art to the Executive Councillor.


Matter for Decision

One of the ways in which the Council has mitigated the impact of development in Cambridge is through public art and the wider benefits that it brought to the city. However, changes to the national planning system and planning regulations meant that (similar to other S106 contribution types) the scope for doing this was becoming ever more challenging. Officers were exploring options for enabling new public art in future.


The report focused on making good use of the off-site public art S106 contributions that the Council used to be able to collect for public art projects beyond the developments themselves.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces

  i.  Noted the changing context for securing public art and the steps being taken to develop new planning policy guidance and a strategy for new public art in Cambridge, in order to set the future direction for enabling high quality public art (see paragraphs 3.4-3.5 in the Officer’s report);

  ii.  Noted the off-site S106 funding availability for public art in Cambridge and the approach to making good use of it through small-scale and larger public art grants and Council-commissioned public art (see section 4);

  iii.  Agreed the arrangements for the 2018 small-scale public art S106 grant funding round (see section 5), including:

·  The timetable for seeking public art grant applications between late January and mid-March 2018, with a priority-setting report back to Community Services Scrutiny Committee in June 2018, and

·  The selection criteria for public art S106 grant applications in 2018;

  iv.  Approved the use of up to £120,000 (from the £450,000 allocated to the River Cam public art programme) for the River Cam public art residency, delegating authority to the Head of Environmental Services, in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Opposition Spokes and Community Services Scrutiny Committee Chair, to appoint the artist and finalise with the artist the nature of the public art outcomes of the residency (see section 6);

  v.  De-allocated the current £75,000 allocated to public realm improvements on Cherry Hinton Road between Hills Road and Rock Road (see section 7).


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Streets and Open Spaces Development Manager.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Referred to section 4.6 of the Officer’s report. Expressed concern that it may be premature to suggest that 2018 small-scale public art grant round could be the last of its kind.

  ii.  Having an artist in residence could be an opportunity to engage children in public art.

  iii.  Asked if the Council could undertake a review of public art already in place to see if it was still wanted by the public.

  iv.  Due to the development area in Trumpington funding should be forthcoming there.


The Streets and Open Spaces Development Manager and Urban Growth Project Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  As off-site S106 funding was running down, the report aimed to manage expectations about reducing opportunities in future.

  ii.  The Cambridge southern fringe had its own public art programme.

  iii.  The table on page 62 of the Officer’s report estimated the availability of public art S106 funding by ward – further checks were being made in order to update the analysis of S106 funding availability.

  iv.  Funding from the Trumpington development area would go towards on-site delivery rather than off-site contributions. 


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Publication date: 02/03/2018

Date of decision: 18/01/2018