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Marlow Film Studios application now submitted

July 4, 2022 7:18 PM
By Anna Crabtree

Marlow Lakes Country Park

Click HERE to register your opinion.

Dido Property Limited have now submitted their planning application to build a vast industrial film complex in the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park.

The development goes against all guidance set out in the Wycombe District Local Plan, adopted in 2019 and accepted by Buckinghamshire Council in 2021.

Our Local Plan states that "planning permission will not be granted for development within the country park that has an adverse effect upon the amenities or setting… or which prejudices the function of the area for the purposes of the country park." This 90-acre eye-sore will clearly do that, in addition to causing traffic chaos on the A4155 and A404 and misery for residents of Westhorpe Park.

This green space is set aside for outdoor recreation, for the enjoyment and well-being of local residents, and is hugely important. It needs to be protected both for locals and for the nature that thrives there.

We call on you, as a concerned member of the public, to submit an objection to this planning application.

Please go to the Wycombe planning portal and add your comment to application 22/06443/FULEA. You will need to register if you haven't submitted a planning objection in the area before.

There are numerous arguments to make against this application and it is better to write in your own words rather than cutting and pasting. For those who would appreciate help getting started, however, some points that may be useful to raise to the planning committee include:

  • This is a greenbelt location, right on the edge of the Chilterns AONB. Building on the fields will go a long way towards merging the town of Marlow with the village Little Marlow and limit the access for residents of both those areas to open countryside. It will also be damaging to the historic setting and character of Marlow and Little Marlow.
  • The economic basis for allowing this development in the greenbelt under "very special circumstances" is shaky at best. The report submitted by the developers relies on industry growth figures that do not reflect the UK's current economic struggles. They fail to take into consideration the low unemployment figures for this part of the country and the recent surge in film studio building, which may lead to surplus capacity.
  • The site is within the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park, as described in the Wycombe District Local Plan adopted in 2019. Development in this area should therefore be limited to opportunities associated with outdoor sport or recreation and this is neither.
  • The site encompasses part of Roach Lake, a valuable water habitat within the Country Park. Protected species including bats, otters, newts and skylarks live here. Allowing industrial activity, including regular noise, lighting and increased human activity, will damage the ecological value of the lake, biodiversity and its natural setting within the Country Park.
  • The junction of the A4155 and A404 (the Westhorpe Interchange) is already extremely busy. Introducing thousands of additional vehicle movements a day to this junction will severely restrict access into Marlow and other surrounding areas like Bourne End and Flackwell Heath. This will be difficult for residents and damaging to the local economy.

The current Neighbour Consultation Expiry Date is 23rd July 2022, although we are optimistic that representations made after this date will still be considered. To ensure your comment is included, please submit an objection as soon as possible.