Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document

Ended on the 19 January 2023
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

Public Realm and Public Art


Provision of or contributions towards public realm


On-site and off-site provision

P1. S106 agreements may require the following issues to be addressed in respect of on-site and off-site public realm improvements:

  1. improvements to paving, street furniture[3], signage, lighting and planting on public highway and other space directly adjoining the site;
  2. planting and any associated paths and boundary treatment directly relating to the site;
  3. financial arrangement for their management;
  4. access and use restrictions/ assurances;
  5. adoption of the improvements;
  6. financial contribution towards the required off-site improvements;

P2. Contributions will be sought from schemes that are deemed to have a significant adverse impact upon Brentwood Town Centre. Obligations will include:

  1. details of how proposed links with Brentwood Town Centre would be designed, delivered and their timescales; and/or
  2. financial contributions to measures that would mitigate any identified significant adverse impacts to the centre.

P3. Where financial contributions are sought, these will be based on the level of the adverse impact from the scheme, and will take into account the degree to which these have been offset by improved linkages and other approaches.


Public realms make an important contribution to the local distinctiveness of an area.

Policy BE14 and Policy BE15 require development to create safe, inclusive, attractive and accessible environment that supports our residents and communities via, among other requirements, well designed public space.

Policy BE08 requires development proposals, where appropriate, to provide reasonable and proportionate contributions to public realm around Brentwood railway stations. Policy PC05 requires development proposals contribute to the enhancement of public realm around Brentwood Town Centre.

Other Local Plan policies also set out that the provision of SUDs, digital communication infrastructure, public transport uses should be facilitated by the provision and design of public realm on site.

This section provides clarity on these requirements.

Policy background

Strategic Policy BE08: Strategic Transport Infrastructure

Strategic Policy BE14: Creating Successful Places

Strategic Policy BE15: Planning for Inclusive Community

Policy PC05: Brentwood Town Centre


Provision or contributions towards public art


On-site provision

P4. The following will be expected to prepare a Public Art Strategy and deliver public art on-site. The delivery of public art will be secured through condition:

  1. residential developments of more than 50 dwellings; or
  2. other development including office, manufacturing, warehouse and retail development with a floorspace of 5,000sqm of more; or
  3. developments at gateway or landmark locations or highly visible routes.

P5. Although public art is a broad term that includes both art activities and art integrated into physical form and function, for the purpose of this SPD, public art only refers only to the latter. As such public art in the context of this SPD refers to projects that have a physical and permanent outcome, integrated into the form, function, style or content of a place, space or building. These will range from projects where artworks have been incorporated into the design or masterplanning of buildings, townscapes or landscapes to the design and making of individual physical elements within them. Such work can include:

  1. large scale three-dimensional artworks such as site specific sculpture; gateway and water features; wayfinding signage; kinetic works; landmarks (including artworks incorporated into landmark buildings); architectural sculpture, land art; commemorative works such as memorials, inscriptions, plaques, artist designed street furniture such as fencing, paving, railings, security screening, tree grills, lighting, seating, bollards, markers and milestones;
  2. integrated two and three-dimensional works such as architectural glass, door furniture, painted works, mosaic / ceramic murals.

P6. Public art works should consider environmental impacts, be durable, sustainable and of high- quality construction requiring very little if any maintenance.

P7. The Public Art Strategy should:

  1. contain a Management Plan consisting of a summary of the knowledge, skills, time and budget allowed for public art project management;
  2. demonstrate how the strategy supports the local creative and cultural sector i.e. by using local artists or suppliers;
  3. explain the commissioning process, artist briefs; explain how the brief responds to relevant local strategic 'cultural and creative' priorities, if any;
  4. explain the nature and purpose of the public art intervention and its relationship to the site including anticipated aims and benefits;
  5. set out the process for community liaison and engagement – both undertaken and proposed;
  6. indicate the Public Art Programme priorities set in the context of the phasing of the development and likely costs;
  7. explain the ownership, maintenance and decommissioning scheme;
  8. contain a statement indicating the responsibility for future care and maintenance this will be addressed as details of the Public Art Programme are developed.

P8. On strategic allocations, the commissioning of public art works should involve professional art organisations and include stakeholder and community engagement.

P9. Where a developer is willing to make a contribution to public art and is unable to achieve an appropriate scheme on site, the Council will encourage developers to make financial contributions to support public art initiatives in suitably prominent locations nearby where artworks would contribute to the existing local character, including the character and appearance of the historic environment and its assets, and thereby enhance the neighbourhood of the development. Where it is judged that off-site provision is appropriate, contributions will be sought to support this. The sums would be guided by the costs of the initiatives. The timing and trigger points of payment will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

P10. Further information on this matter is available in Essex County Council's Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions (2020 or as amended) and the Essex County Council Public Art Strategy.

Maintenance plans / payments

P11. Where there is an obligation to deliver public art within a S106 agreement, the Council will expect the delivery of the public art in accordance with the agreement and for this responsibility not to be transferred to the Council. Subject to discussion with the Council, consider transfer of ownership of permanent works after completion to the Council or an appropriate community body.


Policy BE14 places importance on attractiveness of development in creating successful places. It requires proposal to provide a comprehensive 'design approach that delivers a high quality, safe, attractive, inclusive, durable and healthy places'.

Paragraph 5.130 of the Local Plan goes on to state that "Proposals should either enhance local distinctiveness or seek to introduce distinctiveness to poor quality areas".

This section provides clarity on how development can deliver 'attractive' and 'successful' places or 'enhance local distinctiveness' via the use of public art. Public art is intended to enhance and develop the quality, distinctiveness and future heritage of an area. It celebrates and enhances the identity of a place to increase local sense of pride, including aspects of its heritage.

Policy background

Strategic Policy BE14: Creating Successful Places

[3] See Glossary

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top