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Pinewood revives expansion plan

Studio to appeal refusal of planning application

LONDON — Pinewood Studios has appealed to South Buckinghamshire District Council against its refusal to grant planning permission for Project Pinewood, the studio’s $327 million plan to enhance the facility.

The proposal, which aimed to create more than 1,400 homes spanning across 110 acres, was submitted in June 2009 and refused in October due to a campaign by local residents who suspected the project would build on a conservation site. Local authorities rejected it outright as a result.

The project envisaged offices and permanent film sets replicating destinations such as New York’s Tribeca neighborhood and Montmartre in Paris.

Speaking about the appeal submission, Andrew M. Smith, Pinewood’s group director corporate affairs said: “Project Pinewood is just as important as ever to the U.K. Locally, unemployment in South Bucks rose by approximately 57% in 2009. It is also essential for the U.K.’s creative industries. Recent estimates have shown that the creative industries account for 6.2% of gross value added in the U.K., underlining the importance of the sector to the U.K. economy.

“This proposal has received widespread support from sections of the local community as well as a broad range of business leaders and industry commentators. This is a project of national and regional significance and the economic benefits will be considerable.”

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