Pinewood Studios is one of the world's leading destinations for the makers of film, television and commercials, with a £200 m long-term development scheme to address increasing global demand for production facilities in the UK and deliver growth for the next 15 years. It comprises expansion of the existing Pinewood Studios by adding a total of 97,000 sqm of new facilities, including twelve large stages with supporting workshops, production offices and infrastructure. The proposal for developing 30,000 sqm of studios and stages, 32,500 sqm of workshops, and 34,500 sqm of office floorspace on the green belt in Buckinghamshire will have a positive impact on the economy by:
- Providing £194m of private sector infrastructure investment
- Supporting over 8,100 full time jobs and creating some 3,100 net additional jobs
- Providing an additional contribution to the Exchequer of £36m per annum, as well as generating an additional £37m per annum in UK exports
Vectos provided transport advice to Pinewood Studios in relation to the planning application as well as giving transport evidence at the Public Inquiry. The effect of the Proposed Development on the highway network and the sustainability of the proposals in transport terms was a key issue in the planning process. Vectos demonstrated to the Planning Inspector that the proposals would not have a severe impact on the local highway network. Microsimulation and standard traffic modelling tools were used to demonstrate the effect of the development on the highway network and to design appropriate mitigation where required.
Core to the mitigation package was a comprehensive Sustainable Transport Strategy. The objective was to provide both staff and visitors with a real choice of means of transport. The Sustainable Transport Strategy not only included a Framework Travel Plan and a Shuttle Bus but also included a range of other proposals, such as a new footway / cycleway that will also be of benefit to members of the local community. The overall Sustainable Transport Strategy proposals will lead to a substantial overall benefit in sustainable transport in the local area.
The initial planning application for the studios was submitted in February 2013, after which South Buckinghamshire District Council resolved to refuse planning consent. The application was subsequently appealed by Pinewood Group and in June 2014 was granted planning permission by the Secretary of State.