Residents turned out in droves last night to voice their opinions on a controversial film studio development in a Buckinghamshire town.

Members of the Marlow Parish spoke overwhelmingly in opposition to the Marlow Film Studios at a meeting held by Marlow Town Council last night (October 17) following criticism of an informal vote taken by councillors in support of the application in September.

Court Garden House in Marlow was packed with concerned residents, both from the Marlow Parish and further afield, gathered to discuss the one item on its agenda – the planning application for the development of Marlow Film Studios on scrubland near the A404 in Little Marlow.

Impassioned residents of the town made their case for the Greenbelt site’s “abundance of nature” and mental health benefits, as well as the proposal’s scale – described by one as “the biggest development Marlow has ever seen” – while others drew attention to the studio’s potential impact on traffic and pollution in the area.

Council Leader Chris Funnell and Councillor Richard Scott were also the subject of criticism from attendees for a representation submitted to the planning portal on September 6, detailing an off-the-record vote taken by councillors in support of the development.

One member of the Marlow parish, Mr Thomas said: “What I don’t understand is that a meeting was held, and no minutes were taken on a subject that is so big to this community and which will change the shape of the community.

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“What tiny clique of people have decided to privately agree on something and then just rubber stamp it? That, to me, is against democracy and erodes everyone’s view of how local councils work.”

In response to the question of why no minutes were taken, Councillor Scott said: “We wrote on the basis of individual councillors’ views. It was not an official council meeting because the application site is not within our ward.

“The council have meetings in private all the time and discuss matters of policy – this was one of them and that is the decision that we took.”

One resident said they believed there was a demand for more jobs in Marlow, as promised by studio developers, but another countered: “I’ve worked in virtually all the studios in the southeast and I haven’t met a local at any of them. I do have the experience of driving to these studios and many of us are very uncomfortable with the glares we get from local residents.”

Two votes were taken and passed during the meeting – the first that the council be censured for not consulting the community and the second that a formal objection be issued to the Marlow Film Studios application ahead of the Strategic Sites Committee decision on Monday, October 23.

A spokesperson for Marlow Film Studios said: “Local support and the significant support shown throughout Buckinghamshire has been impressive. This echoes the strength of our vision to transform spoiled land alongside the A404 into a once-in-a-generation opportunity to which young people are particularly attuned, bringing exceptional benefits to the community and wider region.

“Our door continues to be open to the community with questions about Marlow Film Studios, and we welcome these conversations. Please get in touch at”