A controversial £200M redevelopment of Pinewood Studios has been been given planning permission by communities secretary Eric Pickles.
Pinewood Studios had appealed against South Bucks District Council’s refusal to grant planning permission on 15 May last year because it deemed the plan an “inappropriate’ development on green belt land.
In the Secretary of State’s decision notice, it was ruled that “the appeal be upheld and planning permission granted”. In his view he agreed with the significant level of harm identified by the Council, and other objectors. However, on balance he concluded that there was a very strong, credible economic case for the proposed expansion.
Pickles accepterd there existed a degree of risk arising from uncertainty but that the business case was sufficiently compelling to be given substantial weight in support of the development and therefore he allowed the appeal.
“Of course, we are very disappointed that the Secretary of State rejected our decision to refuse permission for this development,” said cabinet member for sustainable development councellor Roger Reed. “We had extensive and well informed objections from the District Council, Parish Councils and others to the scheme but we must now look forward and recognise the importance of Pinewood and the benefit they can bring to the local and wider economy.”