It is very likely that an artwork in the public realm, whether short or long-term, will need planning permission. Each London local authority may have slightly different interpretations on the planning process. It is always worth checking and discussing an application with a planning officer, even if you are working with or already involving the local authority.
Permanent commissions are often the subject of reserve planning matters for larger projects through conditions or obligations. This often means that the intention to commission, and the site, are agreed when consent is given, but the artist and proposal not selected. Once a commission has been developed it will need to be agreed as part of reserve matters, and may need to go back to the local authority’s planning officer or committee. Part of this process may include submitting details of the proposal including a written statement, computer generated images and technical details such as dimensions and materials. It may be useful to submit the application with letters of support from residents or other partners.
When you inquire with the local authority about the process of submitting an application, also check the amount of time it will take to hear back from the application; often anytime from six weeks. Part of this process may include submitting details of the proposal including a written statement, computer generated images and technical details such as dimensions and materials. Other information could include stewardship and maintenance regime. With commissions that are close to highways, local authorities will look to see if there are distracting. Other concerns will be for local residents and businesses – for instance, noise pollution if sound is part of the installation.