Bucks Strategic Sites Committee decides to defer their decision

The Strategic Sites Committee meeting on Monday 23rd October considered the film studio planning application, which its officers recommended for refusal. You can watch the recording online.

The planning officer started with a summary presentation of the development, adding that irrespective of new additions to the traffic proposals, the harm to the Greenbelt and local area would be unjustified.

Objections to the development were presented by Cllr Johncock, Cllr Watson, Cllr Wilson (Bourne End), Cllr Kershaw (Little Marlow), Cllr Pleming (Cookham) and SMG’s Richard Sherwin.

This was followed by odd and contradictory statements to the application from Robert Laycock and public supporters, which the chair allowed far more time than objectors.

In the end, several councillors, including Marlow’s Neil Marshall, voted to defer the decision to obtain more information on traffic and SAC, despite this being immaterial to the planning officers recommendation. This clearly panders to Dido Property Limited, wasting more officers time on tax payer money, while leaving local residents in limbo about their future. A very irresponsible decision.

Our fight against this development continues: there is no economic argument to build such a large film studio on Marlow’s Greenbelt. This is the only argument that matters. We will publish the speeches of the opposition over the next few days.

4 thoughts on “Bucks Strategic Sites Committee decides to defer their decision”

  1. I watched the whole meeting via the link and was appalled at the amount of time Dido were given (and the number of people who were allowed to speak). Objectors were given a strict 3 minutes.
    It was disappointing that some councillors discounted the fact that this is designated green belt land and the argument is, there are no special circumstances which mean it is no longer Greenbelt land. The planning officer was clear in that a delay and further information would not change the balanced view that the land should remain as Greenbelt.
    Those councillors who voted to defer should hang their heads in shame, most especially the Marlow councillor who clearly hadn’t bothered to listen to the views of Marlow residents at the meeting last week. Just who is he representing?

  2. From the outset it has been clear that the only argument that will prevent this development is that the Very Special Circumstances that are required to release designated greenbelt land does not exist – all other ‘NIMBY’ issues associated with beauty, environment, wildlife, traffic etc are secondary to this factor and even irrelevant to the decision-making process, sad that it is. The officers’ report clearly stated that the economic benefit is insufficient to prove that a VSC exists however this has been voted down by councillors – MFS will now make the case that this is tacit approval for the project subject to satisfying the ‘additional information and negotiations’ that were stated as the reasons for deferment which seemed to revolve around the Westhorpe interchange, buses and cycle access to Volvo footbridge. Nothing on the economic case although the Chair did not state what more he needed before voting against. There is even an argument to be made that voting on the officers’ report prior to voting for deferment was incorrect since most councillors stated their reason for voting against was lack of information.

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