Marlow film studio on course for next stage of consultation

Shay Bottomley

shayb@baylismedia.co.uk

A project to bring a new film studio to Marlow is set to reach the next stage of its consultation process following ‘encouraging’ feedback.

The initial ‘concept and principles’ for the plans to develop a former landfill site into a new studio went to public consultation over the summer.

Developers Dido Property Ltd said that the idea of the consultation, orchestrated by independent company Soundings, aimed to gather feedback from residents about the proposals as well as the issues that are important to them.

Benefits to the local economy, ecological sensitivity and design quality were common subjects raised by residents, with 65 per cent of people believing the development ‘should fit in with the landscape’.

Furthermore, sustainability and traffic management were also recurring themes throughout the consultation process.

Robert Laycock, director of Dido Property Ltd said: “We have been encouraged by the positive engagement of residents and businesses, to the concept of bringing a world-class film studio here.

“We have listened intently to what people have said in this first stage of the programme.

“From the various events in and around Marlow, and from the questionnaires and surveys, we have started the process of building a deeper structured understanding of the community and its relationship to our site, how people see the aims and aspirations of the project, and what the most important design considerations need to be for our architects and master-planners.

“As the process continues throughout the autumn, we aim to bring forward a design which takes on board the results of our comprehensive public engagement process.”

The project has received criticism from environmental groups opposed to the studios.

It will now move onto stage two, where the draft design proposals will be revealed, before final designs for planning application are submitted in the winter.

Steve McAdam, managing director of Soundings, said: “Whilst there is clearly a lot of positivity around the plans for the studio complex, we also heard that those living and working locally will need certain reassurances about the project, particularly in connection with its design principles.

“How the scheme can work without adding to any difficulties, for example through traffic solutions, together with a sensitivity to both ecology and sustainability is key. The project team are committed to ensuring that this process is as robust as possible to ensure this happens,” he added.

See www.marlow.film for information on the project.

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