A town council has apologised to residents for causing 'confusion' around its stance on a controversial film studio proposal.

Leader of Marlow Town Council Chris Funnell has apologised to those in the town who were 'misled' by a representation submitted to the Marlow Film Studios planning portal earlier this month detailing an off-the-record vote taken by councillors in support of the development. 

Though the Town Council exercises no authority in relation to the approval or rejection of the film studio proposal, on which a decision will be taken by Buckinghamshire Council later this year, the reported vote did spark backlash for its purported 'secret and undemocratic' nature. 

In a representation amendment submitted to the Marlow Film Studios planning portal on September 25, Cllr Funnell said he had reviewed and approved the representation submitted by Cllr Scott and asked him to submit it on September 6 prior to taking a period of annual leave.

He wrote that while he remained "satisfied that the content of the collective representation and observation was clear", he has now concluded that "some of the content was misleading, in that it was not the case that Marlow Town Council informally consulted members."

Adding: "The comments made on September 6 were a collective view of (several) Marlow constituency Councillors who wished to support the application by way of the detail provided.

"I apologise to the public for any confusion this may have caused and for this error for which I am responsible."

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Cllr Funnell said the members who had agreed to support the proposal, alongside himself, were David Brown, Tim Avery, Roy Cadman, Chris Hoyle, Colleen Stapley and Richard Scott. 

In his initial representation, Cllr Scott wrote that the council had held a "members only" vote in favour of Marlow Film Studios, during which they agreed to "fully support and not raise any objections to" the proposal, with a majority vote of eight to three.

He cited the developers' plans to provide a culture and skills academy, a wildlife reserve bordering the site and active travel measures including a new public bus service as the reasons behind the decision.

It comes after Little Marlow Parish Councillor Anna Crabtree launched a campaign earlier this month calling for a public meeting to be held as remediation for what she described as a "secret and undemocratic" vote on the film studio proposal.

Sam Kershaw, co-chair of Save Marlow's Greenbelt, a volunteer group set up to protect designated Greenbelt land in and around the town, also accused Cllr Scott's submission of applying "insufficient scrutiny" to the planning application.