Mixed Response on Holyport Film Studio Plans – Photo 1 of 1

Developers behind a planned film and TV studio complex in Holyport have answered questions from worried residents about the added noise and more vehicle movement.

Oxford-based Greystoke Land wants to build the Stroud Road Farm complex in Gays Lane, dubbing the project ‘Holyport Studios’.

The 60,000 m² premises would cover 43 hectares of land and would contain stage and production spaces, offices and parking on the green belt, as well as a 16.9 hectare natural park.

The plans were greeted with backlash from ward councilor David Coppinger in last week’s announcerwho was concerned about the size of the proposals and the impact on the campaign view.

A planning application has not yet been submitted by Greystoke Land, but online and in-person consultation events have taken place over the past week to gauge reaction to the scheme.

Residents asked about why development is planned on greenbelt land; how much traffic movement is proposed and an increase in noise if the project goes ahead.

On the greenbelt issue, Greystoke said the supply of space suitable for large-scale productions is “spent”, with existing industrial warehouses deemed “unsuitable” for conversion.

“The suitability of the site has been assessed in the borough in terms of land availability, environmental designations, flood zones and access to electricity. This research revealed that suitable land is only found in the greenbelt,” they added.

The developers say the development is expected to generate around 300-350 peak hour traffic movements, with junction modeling and research undertaken to test the capacity of nearby roads and junctions.

“The results conclude that all of the junctions modeled have the capacity to accommodate the additional journeys from the development,” said Greystoke, adding that a new roundabout is also proposed.

The Royal Borough and South Bucks are targeted for a number of film and TV studio schemes, with another planned near Marlow, just off the A404.

Developers say the Southeast faces an “acute shortage” of suitable studio space to meet demand and that the borough is a viable location as it is located in the “western studio cluster of London”, which includes Bray and Pinewood.

Greystoke also plans to divert two lanes to the south and create a new lane to the north, adding that there will be ’24/7 activity’ at the site when asked about noise levels potential during the consultation.

Bray’s other Tory ward councilor, Leo Walters, was tight-lipped on the proposals but said in a statement he needed to see the planning request in more detail before making a decision.

Cllr Coppinger – who is a voting member of Maidenhead’s planning committee – said he would rule himself out of the vote having already pre-determined the scheme.

“Residents will know that for years I have been a strong supporter of the Greenbelt, but I have to see the application, know the facts [and] read the officer’s report before drawing a conclusion on his merits or demerits,” Cllr Walters said.

“Over the years, in the parish of Bray, there have been many requests for construction on the greenbelt. In Holyport alone [many] were denied or dismissed on appeal.

“Through these and other decisions, all of us who live in the parish and visitors can enjoy the countryside around us.”

The developers plan to submit a preliminary planning application for Holyport Studios in November, adding that subject to the planning process, work could begin within 18 months.

For more information, visit www.holyportstudios.co.uk

Jack C. Nugent