£200m Pinewood expansion plan rejected by local council

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A £200m investment in Pinewood Studios, has been rejected by the local council.

Peel Holdings Group in Manchester is Pinewood’s majority shareholder, through its Goodweather Investment Management subsidiary.

It had recruited a long list of celebrity names to back its plans, which it said would have doubled production capacity. Danny Boyle, Ridley Scott and Eric Fellner (Les Mis), had all joined the cause, after the original bid was blocked by the Government.

However, in a meeting last night, South Buckinghamshire Council called the scheme an “inappropriate” expansion into the green belt.

"This is a disappointing decision by the local planning authority. It is hard to believe, given the country's economic difficulties that SBDC would turn down a £200m project creating 3,100 jobs in the vibrant and growing film and television sectors,” said Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Shepperton plc.

“The Company remains committed to the Pinewood Studios Development Framework and we will be studying the decision with our legal and planning team and expect to appeal the decision to the Secretary of State."

The 100,000sq metre expansion was to create additional studios, streetscapes and stages.

Last night's decision was backed by local councillor, Bill Lidgate, who said that the council “jealously protected” its green belt land, adding:

“The point people must understand is that Pinewood Studios do not make films, they rent out buildings.”

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