The opening blows have been traded in the battle over the future of Pinewood Studios.

This week the public inquiry into the Pinewood Studios’ bid to expand its site in Iver Heath onto an area of green belt land began at the studios’ site in Pinewood Road.

The inquiry, which will last until December 13, will eventually decide to either uphold or reject a decision made by South Bucks District Council’s planning committee earlier this year to reject the plans.

On Tuesday this week, the inquiry began with opening statements from legal representatives of Pinewood Studios as well as those from South Bucks District Council and Stop Project Pinewood being read out.

First to speak was Martin Kingston QC for Pinewood Studios who outlined the importance of the expansion for the studios at international, national and local levels.

He said: “Investment is being turned away and as a consequence national, regional and local economic employment, training and wider social and cultural benefits are being lost.  In that respect it should be noted at the outset that the view is not simply a Pinewood view, it is the view of a wide range of industry bodies, film production companies and well informed officials.”

South Bucks District Council and campaigners living close to the studio do not believe that the green belt should be built on, and are concerned that by the time the facilities are built, they could be out of date.

Protesters have also said in the past that they will oppose any Pinewood Studios development which involves building on the green belt.

The inquiry continues.