Communities and Local Government CommitteeWritten evidence from Paule Constable

Please find below a brief outline of reasons that I find the new NPPF worrying as regards theatres. I would urge the committee to reconsider and to take this vital part of our communities into much more consideration. I can only think that this is an oversight and hope that by raising these issues we can include theatres much more actively in the new document.

Theatre buildings need to be specifically and carefully considered as regards all planning. The proposed NPPF does not give sufficient guidance.

We have to protect our cultural buildings—both in terms of how they change responsibly in the future and how we protect our existing heritage.

Theatres so often demonstrate how lack of clear planning can destroy a vital part of our UK heritage and how the misapplication of planning strategies can make for confused decisions and ruined buildings.

The definition of sustainable development as regards theatres has to be clearer in the document. We are part of this debate. We need to move forward.

There is a specific consideration given to leisure, sport and heritage but not to culture and theatre. This seems a complete oversight.

Theatre is vital to the development of a healthy community. Culture is essential to the well being of our society. Surely at the moment, following riots and questions about how little we value eachother we don’t need reminding of.

8 September 2011

Prepared 20th December 2011