Red Light on Green Belt Development
Plans to build a 100 acre development for Pinewood Studios in the Green Belt near Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire have been halted by the government.
The planned ┬ú200 million investment into 1400 ΓÇÿlive-inΓÇÖ film sets, a primary school, various retail and community facilities and new office space was publicly rejected on Friday 20th January 2012 according to the directive of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.
Planning permission for the development was initially denied in 2009, since when protests have taken place against the so-called ΓÇÿProject PinewoodΓÇÖ.
In 2010, Pinewood Studios officially appealed against the opposition to their development plans, stating that the project would prove vital for both the UK economy and the creative industry at large. The studioΓÇÖs vision of Iver Heath as a ΓÇÿstreetscapeΓÇÖ inspired by Paris, Venice and New York was publicly denounced by locals, who have been supported by South Buckinghamshire District Council leader, Adrian Bushby.
ΓÇ£Coming so closely after the appalling HS2 decision from the government, this is better news for the district, the people of Iver and surrounding areas, and for the environment,ΓÇ¥ Bushby has said in reaction to the ruling.
He added: ΓÇ£Unlike the HS2 decision, this demonstrates that the government means what it said in its recent draft National Planning Policy Framework: ΓÇÿThe 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.ΓÇÖΓÇ¥
An inquiry was held in reaction to PinewoodΓÇÖs appeal in April 2011 and the decision to reject the development was publicly announced on Friday.
Representatives have issued a statement relating PinewoodΓÇÖs ΓÇÿdisappointmentΓÇÖ at the ruling and their plans to ΓÇÿreview the decisionΓÇÖ.
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