Pinewood appeals against planning refusal

$237 mil proposed scheme called Project Pinewood

LONDON -- U.K. studio facilities group Pinewood Shepperton, listed here on the stock exchange, submitted an appeal Monday against the refusal of planning permission by South Bucks District Council for its proposed $237 million expansion plans at an adjacent site to its Pinewood complex.

The initial planning application for the plans, dubbed Project Pinewood, was turned down in October last year (HR 10/22) after local residents mounted a co-ordinate challenge to stop it going ahead on green belt zoned land.

Pinewood Shepperton management always knew consent would be denied initially anyway as any proposals in the U.K. for green belt development require national government approval.

Pinewood Group director corporate affairs Andrew Smith said: "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."

Plans for the project included the creation of permanent film sets, offices and homes on 110 acres including re-creations of San Francisco, New York's Tribeca neighborhood, New Orleans, Venice's Canale Grande as well as a Screen Craft Academy built in partnership with the National Film and Television School.