Pinewood Refused Permission To Develop On Green Belt
The Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has refused to grant planning permission on appeal for Pinewood Studios Ltd to build its Project Pinewood proposals in the Green Belt at Iver Heath. The proposal involves external streetscapes for filming incorporating a housing estate for 1,400 new homes - together with a primary school, retail, community and other facilities and associated buildings for employment uses.
Leader of the District Council, Councillor Adrian Busby said “Coming so closely after the appalling HS2 decision from Government this is better news for the District, the people of Iver and surrounding areas and for the environment. I was never in doubt that this proposal should not go ahead, and I am glad that the Secretary of State agrees. Unlike the HS2 decision this demonstrates that the Government means what it said in its recent draft National Planning Policy Framework by ‘The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.”
South Bucks District Council refused planning permission for the proposals on 21st October 2009 on the basis that the proposals were inappropriate development in the Metropolitan Green Belt and that the applicant had not demonstrated any special circumstances sufficient to warrant an exception to Green Belt policies; that the proposal would urbanise and harm the landscape of the Colne Valley Park; the site is in an unsustainable location with poor accessibility to facilities and services which would generate significant levels of car use inconsistent with national and local policy; and that the proposals would adversely affect trees and hedgerows.
Pinewood Studio’s Ltd submitted an appeal against the Council’s decision, and a Public Inquiry was held at the Evreham Centre in Iver in April and May 2011.
Councillor Busby added “Whilst the Secretary of State has upheld the Council’s decision, we remain committed to working with Pinewood Studios Ltd to ensure that they are able to operate effectively on their existing site which lies outside of the Green Belt”.
Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Development, Councillor Roger Reed said “This is absolutely the right decision. I am pleased that the Government has seen through the weak and flawed case put forward by Pinewood Studios. Even Pinewood Studios accepted that their proposal was contrary to both Local and National Green Belt policy, and this decision confirms that there were no exceptional circumstances as to why their aspirations should override the Council’s very strong Green Belt policy.
This decision is entirely consistent with our Core Strategy, which was adopted in early 2011 after a Government Inspector agreed that the Council did not need to release land from the Green Belt to meet future development needs. I welcome that common sense and the interests of local residents have prevailed!
Residents can be assured that the District Council will continue to work tirelessly to protect our Green Belt in South Bucks.”
For more information please contact
South Bucks District Council,
Denham, Bucks. UB9 4LH
Tel: 01895 837200