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Film studio development ‘unnecessary and harmful’

22 January 2023

Countryside campaigners are warning of the “dangerous precedent” that will be set if permission is granted for a large (60,000 sq.m) film studio complex at Holyport near Bray. [Windsor & Maidenhead Borough Council planning application no. 22/03374]

The Berkshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says that the proposal by Greystoke Land to build within the Metropolitan Green Belt, close to the existing Bray Film Studios, is an unnecessary and damaging development that could lead to further “Green Belt land grabs” by developers.

Greg Wilkinson, Chairman of CPRE Berkshire, explains: “CPRE believes that the environmental harm that will be done to the countryside at Holyport far outweighs any economic benefit to the local area. Not only would the development mean further encroachment and the loss of precious open space but it would have a direct impact on nearby heritage assets in the Holyport Conservation Area.”

He adds: “Building in the Green Belt is only permitted where there are ‘very special circumstances’ but this is a high bar and we do not accept that this test has been met by Greystoke Land. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead must reject this damaging proposal. CPRE Berkshire calls on borough councillors to do their duty by protecting the green spaces and heritage of the Royal Borough.”

CPRE Berkshire’s comments are echoed by the London Green Belt Council, the umbrella group for more than 100 local amenity societies, countryside protection groups and residents’ associations throughout the Metropolitan Green Belt.