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Pickles overrules council on film studio plan

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Eric Pickles has overruled a council’s objections and given permission for a £200m expansion of the Pinewood film studios.

Owner Pinewood Shepperton had appealed against South Buckinghamshire DC’s rejection of the scheme last year.

The council said the development would be inappropriate in the green belt and generate too much traffic.

But the communities secretary said economic arguments for the project outweighed the risk identified by the council.

Roger Reed (Con), cabinet member for sustainable development, said: “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.”

The project would effectively double the size of the 100,000 square-metre studio, famous for films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Skyfall and Carry On Loving.

Pinewood Shepperton chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said: “Our project builds on the success of the government’s policy for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage space in the UK.”

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