THE CONTROVERSIAL Project Pinewood plans have been rejected by South Bucks District Council.

At a meeting held on Wednesday, October 21, SBDC's planning committee turned down the studio's bid to build 1,700 new homes in the form of permanent film sets on green belt land.

The studios, in Pinewood Road, Iver Heath, had claimed that the building of the sets, which would take the form of a number of different cities, including New York, New Orleans and Paris, was vital to the future of the studios and to the UK film industry.

However, SBDC's planning committee ruled that the sets could not be built because they would be going against Green Belt Land policy if they were to do so.

A huge crowd of residents descended on the council's offices to make their feelings on the issue known, and were supported by a number of parish councillors from Iver.

Julian Wilson, parish council chairman,told the planning committee: "This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to build 1,400 houses on Green Belt land. I urge you to refuse it."

The committee eventually ruled to reject the plans unanimously, with committee member Jacquetta Lowen-Cooper saying: "We are not here to beat Pinewood and we are proud of having them in South Bucks. However, allowing these plans would set a dangerous precedent as far as the Green Belt issue is concerned."

The meeting was broadcast to the crowd gathered outside the council's offices.

Afterwards, residents and members of the Stop Project Pinewood group were overjoyed with the decision.

Sylvie Lowe, of the group, said: "This is a fantastic decision and I am over the moon. We know that Pinewood are likely to appeal and that this is just the beginning of the battle, but for now we will enjoy this."

For a full report, see the Advertiser out on Thursday, October 29.