PINEWOOD Studios has been given the green light to expand their site in a £200m project.

In a controversial move planning permission has been granted despite South Bucks District Council refusing the application.

The Pinewood Studios Development Framework has been given permission by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The expansion, which would more than double the size of the existing Iver Heath site, was turned down over the detrimental impact it would cause to the Green Belt.

This was despite backing from industry leaders and a letter of support for the UK film industry from Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

A previous plan submitted by the studio was turned down by SBDC in 2009. Many residents have been vociferous in their opposition to the development, with the Stop Project Pinewood campaigning hard to derail the plan.

However, Pinewood have said, the development will secure the future of the studios in Iver Heath.

Plans include doubling the existing studios by adding a total of 100,000sqm of new facilities including studios, stages, workshops and production offices.

Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton plc, Ivan Dunleavy, said: “Our project builds on the success of the Government's policy for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage space in the UK.

“As a result of today's green light from the Secretary of State, thousands of much needed new jobs will be created in this growing sector of the economy.

“We want to begin construction as soon as possible. I'd like to thank colleagues both within and outside the industry, for the tremendous support they have given the project."

South Bucks District Council have said they are disappointed by the decision.

More to come.