Major expansion of a film studio has been agreed.

Bucks Council ‘resolved to grant permission’ for the phased development of a 750,000 sqft global growth hub for Pinewood Studios.

The expansion will comprise three key elements: a new 350,000 sqft visitor attraction in a series of buildings (The Pinewood Studios Experience); another 350,000 sqft of film production studios that include sound stages, workshops, offices, and a backlot; plus, an education and business hub (Centre Stage) spanning 50,000 sqft.

Up to two million visitors are expected to go to the visitor attraction.

It is also understood the scheme will lead to a £500 million(+) investment, and 3,500 jobs.

The roughly 33-hectare site is south of the existing studios, west of Pinewood Road, east of Black Park Country Park, and extends south to Uxbridge Road (A412).

Bucks Free Press:

The new site

The visitor attraction will be accessed by two points from Pinewood Road and one from the A412, offering 1,400 parking spaces.

The film production studios will also be accessed from Pinewood Road and offer 715 parking spaces.

And Centre Stage will have 226 parking spaces.

The Peace Path that runs along the southern edge of the existing studio connecting Pinewood Road with Black Park will be moved to a different location south of the site, documents state.

While officers found the expansion constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt resulting in “substantial spatial and visual harm”, they concluded that “all of the harms are clearly outweighed by the benefits”. Adding: “Very Special Circumstances do exist in this case.”

Independent Cllr Paul Griffin said the scheme “at best, will disable a large community – and at worst, congest the roads, pollute the air, destroy fragile Green Belt, compromise mental and physical health, and undermine the hopes and dreams of probably two, maybe even three generations of Bucks residents”.

He added: “A retail visitor attraction is hardly essential to the film industry.”

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