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Pinewood Studios £450m plans 'essential' to economic recovery post COVID-19

Pinewood Studios £450m development 'essential' to economic recovery post COVID-19

Plans for a ‘major visitor attraction’ with education and business growth hubs and a film production space have been submitted by Pinewood Studios.

The £450m development called ‘Screen Hub UK’ will expand and combine the studios in Iver Heath with an international film inspired visitor attraction which could bring in two million visitors a year.

Throughout its 84-year history, Pinewood Studios has been the major filming location for the Harry Potter, Star Wars and James Bond franchise, including No Time To Die the latest 007 film.

The proposals are for a visitor attraction of 350,000 square foot, new film production buildings which would include sound stages, workshops, offices and an external film backlot, an education hub, a business growth hub and parking for up to 1,400 cars.

The development would be in greenbelt land to the south of the existing studios. Pinewood Studios says the site has been the subject of quarrying and land fill with restoration approaching completion.

Pinewood Studios  says very special circumstances could apply as the benefits it would deliver ‘have never been more needed given the scale of economic recovery required’. 

It states: “At a time when the economic and social context is adverse as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 the benefits attract substantial weight and urgency in planning decision-making.

“Screen Hub UK will be a key contributor to economic recovery at national and local level that is essential post the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Pinewood Studios says the development has the potential to support 3,500 jobs, and boost tourism by £125m a year and add £2430m a year to the economy. The construction phase would create 1,600 jobs.

An education and business growth hub named ‘Centre Stage’ would range from primary school outreach and adult retraining ‘post the employment downturn impacts of COVID-19’. 

The visitor attraction would ‘blend Pinewood’s history and the art of filmmaking’ for an immersive, interactive exhibition that goes ‘behind the scenes’ of how they were created. 

The new studio space would integrate with the existing studios and would add capacity for the ‘scale required for a single major film production’.

There would be parking for 1,400 cars 25 coaches and an 80 space cycle park. 

Proposals also include ‘green/blue infrastructure’ which include tree and shrub planting, a green network, water habit features, off site highway improvements at the Five Points Roundabout and Seven Hills Road and boundary treatment. Access would also be created to the site from Pinewood Road and Uxbridge Road with entrance features.

Visit the Buckinghamshire Council website to view the plans by searching PL/20/3280/OA.

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  • Mike_Iver_Village

    08:25, 26 October 2020

    This expansion is total madness. Grabbing Green Belt land after the rest of the studios was leased to Disney for 10 years. Total greed. This expansion will make the whole area a driving nightmare - 8,500 visitors a day, 7 days a week, 9am - 9pm. Really?! The roads can't cope now! email your OBJECTION to this madness to planning.comments.csb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk reference: PL/20/3280/OA

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