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Campaigners set to oppose Pinewood Studios expansion sequel
PINEWOOD Studios looks set to face a fight from Iver Heath campaigners over its latest plans for a major expansion.
The company held workshops last week to discuss its proposals and gather feedback, but campaigners are adamant they will oppose any building on Green Belt land.
Though Pinewood has not mentioned a housing development as part of the expansion it would be likely to include a neighbouring Green Belt land holding.
The Stop Project Pinewood group has posted on its website: "It is time to demonstrate that along with the National Trust and the Council for Protection of Rural England we are in the words of Caroline Spelman the Environment Secretary ‘implacable on the Green Belt’."
One Denham campaigner, who asked not to be named, urged residents to send Pinewood a "clear message that there is no development whatsoever, which would be acceptable on Green Belt land".
He added: "The greatest danger is that if any allowance is made and if any company is permitted to do anything on Green Belt, it will open the floodgates and other companies will try and flout the rules and push the boundaries."
Studio bosses say they cannot remain competitive on a global scale without new investment, as Pinewood was unable to meet rising demand for its services last year.
The latest plans follow the Government’s refusal of a previous expansion, which had proposed to build replica streetscapes with 1,400 new homes inside 'live-in' film sets.
The rejection backed the stance taken by South Bucks District Council, which was strongly opposed to any development on the protected site. Pinewood is home to the Harry Potter and James Bond films, as well as about 300 independent businesses in the film, television and gaming industries.
The plans are aimed to enable it to compete with studio complexes currently being developed in Australia, Russia and China. The latest proposals were welcomed by the Government's Business Secretary Vince Cable in May.
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