A mysterious film set in Little Marlow could stay in the village for up to three years, it has been revealed.

The huge set has been built alongside the picturesque Spade Oak Nature Reserve and Muschallick Road and has already caused controversy, with walkers raising fears about flooding.

READ MORE: Mystery surrounds huge film set built next to nature reserve that has caused flooded footpaths

Charles Brocklehurst, the property and assets chief at Buckinghamshire Council, initially suggested the filmmakers – whose identity is being kept under wraps – could be gone by spring 2021.

But a new planning application submitted last week suggests they could be there for up to three more years.

The identity of the filmmakers and the film has not been revealed, with the planning application being submitted on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council’s property and assets directorate, and not the production team itself.

The plans say it is not ‘definitive’ that the huge operation will be there for the whole three-year period, but it is “expected that this will provide ample time for the operation to reach a conclusion and vacate the site”.

Large areas of hardstanding, temporary film set buildings, marquees, cabins and a car park have already been built on the site as the filmmakers were allowed to set up without needing full planning permission – a move the government introduced to help support film-making in the UK.

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The extra time needed for the filming has been blamed on the coronavirus outbreak because fewer people are allowed on site, social distancing needs to be enforced and there could be travel delays.

Applying for the three-year extension, the applicants said: “The operation will need to be flexible to take into account new guidelines as they are announced.

“Inevitably, there will be periods where, despite best efforts, key team members will have to self-isolate.

“There will also be travel delays and isolation periods for actors and staff travelling internationally.

“Therefore, significant delays are anticipated (and have already been encountered since work on the film set began).”

It was also proposed that the film set will be used between 7.30am to 4.30pm on Monday to Fridays, and 7.30am to 1.30pm on the occasional Saturday.

The plans also mentioned the potential flooding that could be caused by the film set – an issue already raised by Bourne End resident John Collins, who complained that public footpaths in the area were left flooded after heavy rain.

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A flood risk assessment found that the use of the site as a film set was acceptable and the flood risk was low, but the filmmakers said they are looking to put in place a “number of mitigation measures” just in case.

With the previous use of the site as a gravel excavation site, the number of HGVs heading in and out of the film set would be “considerably less” than what it otherwise would be.

They added that if any nearby residents had concerns over noise from the filming, they would consider making “suitable changes” but added that the nearest home is around 250 metres away with plenty of trees in between.

Once filming is finished, the site would be returned to how it used to look.

To read the full plans, go to the planning portal at www.wycombe.gov.uk and use the planning reference 20/07719/R9FUL.