South East Museum, Library and Archives Council (SEMLAC)
- Professor Martin Elson (Department of Planning), director, OISD:SPU
- Lesley Downing (Department of Planning), project manager, OISD:SPU
- total grant value: £9,000
- time duration: July October 2004
Assess the current situation in terms of the use of developers contributions towards the provision and upgrading of MLA in the region
Produce advice on how SEMLAC should promote effective MLA provision in conjunction with new development in the growth areas and elsewhere in the South East, with particular reference to cultural entitlement and the creation of sustainable communities
Collect examples of where developers’ contributions have been secured for MLA provision.
Survey of public library authorities in the South East to assess how new requirements are calculated, and the role of planning obligations in securing provision;
Survey of museum and archive directors in the region to assess how far developers contributions have been used to provide new facilities or improve existing ones;
Interviews with key authorities and individuals identified from the initial surveys over standards for provision, design and the costing of facilities, mobile provision etc;
A stakeholder workshop to discuss emerging findings and directions; Documentation of good practice in the preparation of supplementary planning documents; and individual examples of provision and contributions towards MLA provision using developers’ contributions.
Consultation with selected SEMLAC staff to focus and inform the above
Discussions with stakeholders prompted the following key recommendations:
- SEMLAC should consider producing a brief and clear ‘How to do It’ Advice Note for planning and library authorities, explaining the legal basis of planning obligations, the most effective process to use, and giving some examples of successful implementation.
- There is a need to build on the draft SPD for the Milton Keynes area, relating to MLA provision, and widen its coverage to the remainder of the MKSM Growth Area, and other parts of the south east region.
- SEERA should be canvassed to ensure that an enabling policy is included in the South East Plan, and sub-regional strategies, to ensure the legitimacy of seeking contributions for MLA facilities
- Local authorities preparing Local Development Frameworks in the region should be canvassed to ensure they include policies allowing for MLA facilities in conjunction with new development. A sample policy or policies could be included in this document.
- SEMLAC should consider publishing a statement on the implications for MLA facilities of the growth envisaged in the Plan. This could, for example point out that 30,000 new dwellings a year [the expected planned rate of growth] at a contribution rate of £300 per dwelling for libraries would amount to £9 million in capital funding for library improvements per annum. This would be separate from the need to make up for current deficiencies.
- SEMLAC should collect information on how to work effectively in these new partnership environments to deliver modern facilities. This could be in the form of details of 8-10 recent successful ‘cluster’ schemes, with lessons for implementation being drawn out from them.
- A dissemination event should be held to promote the messages in this report, and to obtain the views of partners and potential partners.
- The issue of developer contributions for museums and archives could be investigated by a half day invitation seminar with key museum planning officials, to decide a way forward in this area.
- An Annex was provided which summarised the contributions systems in place for libraries in association with new development, across selected local authorities, in the Region.
Martin Elson or Lesley Downing
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tel. +44 (0) 1865 483408/4065