No5’s Kingston and Corbet Burcher secure planning permission for Pinewood Studios

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has granted planning permission for Pinewood Studios Development Framework.

Martin Kingston QC, leading James Corbet Burcher (both of No5 Chambers), acted for Pinewood Studios, instructed by Ian Ginbey and David Heales of Clyde & Co and Turley Associates.

Pinewood Studios is ranked among the top three film studios worldwide, and an internationally recognised brand. More than 1,500 films have been produced there.

The application was for development on the existing site and 46 hectares of Green Belt land comprising ‘reconfiguration and expansion of facilities for screen-based media, including film, television and video games and associated services and industries comprising demolition of existing outdated accommodation; erection of new stages, workshops, office accommodation’ and other related developments.

The permission effectively doubles the film-making capacity of the studios to allow up to four big-budget films to be filmed at any one time, while providing flexibility for other screen-based media including high-end television.

South Buckinghamshire District Council refused planning permission in May 2013 and the section 78 appeal was recovered by the Secretary of State.

A four-week inquiry was held before planning inspector Phillimore in November and December 2013.

Inspector Phillimore recommended approval, concluding at IR687 that the harm to the Green Belt should be given ‘very serious weight’ but at IR807, ‘overall there is a very strong, credible economic case for the proposed expansion’.