Buckinghamshire film studios plans axed despite Hollywood backing

Plans to create new film studios on Marlow Quarry have been denied planning permission even though Canadian film-maker James Cameron originally backed the idea.

After research discovered that the UK was one of the top contributors to the global film industry, plans were submitted to build a new film studios in Marlow, London. The proposal was backed by director James Cameron, who is best known for his movies the Titanic and Avatar.

However, Buckinghamshire Council have backed a recommendation from planning officers to boycott the idea. During a meeting at the Strategic Sites Committee, concerns were raised that the site was an inappropriate development for Green Belt land and would severely impact the local road network.

Following the meeting, Robert Laycock, CEO of Marlow Film Studios, said the team is considering its next steps.

‘Despite many members on the committee crediting the quality of the application, and acknowledging the very significant social and economic benefits it would bring to Buckinghamshire, we are disappointed the committee was not able to support this extraordinary proposal,’ Laycock said. ‘It is one of the most significant investment opportunities in the future of Buckinghamshire and its residents, and we are now considering the next steps for the development.’

Laycock added: ‘In addition to luminaries like James Cameron, Andy Serkis, Paul Greengrass, Richard Curtis, Jeremy Irons and a host of global figures who support us, we are most touched by the unprecedented level of local support from Buckinghamshire. Over 5,200 people wrote letters of support, and well over 100 people turned up in person to the meeting today to show councillors how much they care.’

News of the local authority raising concerns has been a long time coming. In October 2023 Buckinghamshire councillors deferred their decision on the studio so they could consider Green Belt and road issues, despite the site being recommended by planning officers.

Various campaign groups have backed the council’s decision, including Save Marlow’s Green Belt who argued the site wasn’t fit for use.

Image: Marlow Film Studios 

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Emily Whitehouse
Writer and journalist for Newstart Magazine, Social Care Today and Air Quality News.


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