Pinewood Studios


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The planning application is for an expansion of the Studios to the south on to the old quarry site and at Alderbourne Farm a backlot and nature reserve.

The Studio site is around 80.5 acres and will accommodate a maximum of 1.5m sq ft of sound stages, workshops, offices. One third of the site is dedicated to green infrastructure for ecological / landscape gain.

The Alderbourne Farm site has a backlot (outdoor filming area) of 7.2 acres. The rest of the site will be dedicated as a permanent nature reserve of 64.6 acres linked to development of the Pinewood South site.

The application includes an education and training hub and a business growth hub known as Centre Stage of up to 50,000 sq ft.

The application does not include the Visitor Attraction which is part of the separately permitted Screen Hub UK. It remains an alternative.

The application seeks approval to the principle of the uses and a range of broad parameters that will guide subsequent detailed design. Click here to view the parameter plans.

The application includes illustrative layouts (Pinewood South and Alderbourne Farm). The scheme will look much like the more recent existing studios development. There is a parameter that will control heights with the smaller studio buildings being closest to Pinewood Road. The buildings at Alderbourne Farm will not exceed the highest of those currently on site. The appearance of the buildings is for subsequent approval.


The buildings are limited to film studio use only. A new planning permission would be required for any change of use. The local rumour that the site could become warehouses is incorrect.


All the land owned by the Studios is identified and plans for development are public.

The exception is the Five Points Field adjacent to the British Legion which is not proposed for film use and might be a site for consideration as ‘greenspace’ associated with the current application. There is no commitment to this and it is a matter for further consideration linked to a grant of planning permission.

Rumours to the contrary are incorrect.

The two major highway improvements are to Five Points roundabout and Seven Hills Road.

A scheme to add signals and improve the capacity of the Five Points roundabout has been prepared and is a requirement of the previous planning permission to expand the studios – Pinewood Studios Development Framework.  A planning application is with Bucks Council for determination. The scheme will be implemented as soon as possible after a grant of planning permission.

A scheme to improve Seven Hills Road by repair, widening, and new junctions at each end has planning permission. This improvement is required for the full proposed development (see below).

There are a range of other transport schemes proposed including new and improved footpaths and cycleways to provide safe, alternative active travel. An expansion of the stations shuttle bus service is proposed.

As with the Screen Hub UK planning permission we expect a condition that requires the submission of a highway phasing scheme to ensure that the scale and pace of development is matched by the highway improvements and that they are available before the new uses commence.  The Seven Hills Road scheme cannot be viably implemented in advance of the scheme(s) starting on site. The same provisions as were agreed with Buckinghamshire Council for Screen Hub UK will be repeated. Precise timing will be determined when the phasing of the development is known and design details (reserved matters) are submitted for approval.

A permanent nature reserve of 64.6 acres with ecological enhancement and public access is proposed.

An illustrative masterplan for the reserve can be seen here.

Details are not fixed and will be subject to later approval but are likely to include: management and protection of existing woodland; new planting and ecological connectivity; new grassland, new wetland; provision of a permissive path network connecting to existing; new wildlife habitats (eg bird nesting and bat roosting); a small car park.

The rationale for the Reserve is biodiversity enhancement and passive recreation.

The delivery of the scheme will be linked to the grant of planning permission and development of Pinewood South. Provision will be made for the full establishment of the Reserve and its maintenance in perpetuity.

The development represents a financial investment well in excess of £750 million.

It will have substantial economic benefits including:

  • Around 1400 jobs during construction with apprenticeships
  • Over 8000 permanent jobs on completion (direct and indirect)
  • A total annual economic output in the region of £650 million
  • A bespoke employment and training programme across the sites including the Education Hub which is intended to be operated by the National Film and Television School
  • A boost to film related businesses through the work of the Business Growth Hub

These benefits alone provide justification for a grant of planning permission in the Green Belt.

Adding to the strength of case are the following benefits:

  • The Alderbourne Nature Reserve
  • The potential of Five points Field as a dedicated green space
  • A biodiversity net gain of 10% minimum and a voluntary target of 15%
  • Priority for local jobs and use of local businesses for services
  • Contributions to local air quality improvement initiatives
  • Contributions to ‘connected’ local active travel provision (footpaths, cycleways)

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