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Beaconsfield: Rishi Sunak reacts to Marlow Film Studios
The Prime Minister was reluctant to support or oppose a controversial film studio proposal during a visit to a school in Buckinghamshire this morning.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield today (January 22) to meet staff and students alongside local MP Joy Morrissey and promote the educational arm of the UK's film and TV industry.

Whilst Mr Sunak was keen to stress the country's growing prominence on the global filmmaking stage, he remained tight-lipped when questioned on Marlow Film Studios, a controversial 36-hectare development proposed for construction on greenbelt land down the road in Little Marlow.

When asked about his views on the project by the Free Press, the Prime Minister said: "In general, planning decisions are a matter for the local planning authority and are not something I would typically get involved with or comment on.

"More generally, though, part of the reason I'm here today is to celebrate the incredible success of our film and TV industry, in which (the NFTS) and (Buckinghamshire) play a starring role.

"It brings a boost to our economy, employs millions of people and is training the next generation, which is something I think we can all be proud of."

"Joy (Morrissey) and I have been chatting with some of the young people here today and it just fills you with incredible confidence - the future looks bright."

In response to further questioning about his views on greenbelt development, Mr Sunak said: "Local authorities know local areas best and it's right that they make decisions that are appropriate.

"When it comes to housing, one thing I have been clear about is that we have decided to remove top-down imposed targets on local areas.

"I don't think that's right, and it puts precious countryside at risk."

"This is a very beautiful part of the country, (but) it's right that the local (authority) balances these things."

In June 2023, the UK government announced a £77 million funding boost to the creative industries as part of a wider aim to grow the sector by £50 billion and create a million more jobs by 2030.

Speaking at the time, the Prime Minister called the creative industries "a true British success story".
Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Marlow Film Studios (ref: 22/06443/FULEA).

I am writing in support of the application for Marlow Film Studios, a film studio planned on former landfill next to the A404, within the parish of Little Marlow.

I was really encouraged to read of the latest polling across Bucks showing overwhelming support for the project and for the jobs and economic development that come with it. The opinions of residents across Bucks matters, particularly those who live and work close to the Studio site.

This is a decision that Bucks councillors should be making on behalf our children, and their future. This is a decision about providing them with greater opportunity and wider chances. The next generation urgently need opportunities for careers that keep them within Bucks and allow our towns and villages to flourish as homes for all ages.

Providing sustainable jobs and careers is vital for the long-term prosperity of any community. The growth of the British film industry over recent years has been extraordinary and its future growth is backed by all the political parties. Marlow Film Studios intends to be the future centre for British filmmaking. The fact that we have an industry of this global standing planning to build studios in our county is something we should be proud of. Many of today’s young people want to work in the creative sector.

I am particularly excited at the possibilities it provides for our disadvantaged communities. For local people, the Studios will also be close to one of the more culturally diverse parts of Buckinghamshire. The Studios’ partnerships with institutions such as Buckinghamshire College Group will provide access points to the creative economy for an under-represented diverse community as part of Wycombe’s regeneration challenge.

I understand that all new developments present challenges. But I believe that considerable efforts are being made to manage these. I am pleased to note the financing of the road traffic improvements on the Westhorpe roundabout, the provision of new bus routes, the care being put into providing accessible parkland for residents and a biodiverse environment.

The Studios are being built on a former gravel pit, on land that is no longer suitable for agriculture use. I understand that any decision on Green Belt land needs to illustrate clear benefits to the community that outweigh the impact. Overall, I believe the strong benefits robustly and significantly outweigh the negative considerations, and so I strongly support the planning application.
What will happen to your details: When you click “send” on this form, you will be added to our campaign and we will generate the a letter of support in the form linked above in your name for the Marlow Film Studios planning application. We will share this letter with Buckinghamshire Council councillors and officers, Buckinghamshire Parish Council councillors, Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and Members of Parliament. These organisations may upload this letter publicly on their planning portals and/or website and will adhere with their Privacy Policies. In particular, we are requesting that Buckinghamshire Council upload these letters to their Public Access website for our application. Any processing of data by Buckinghamshire Council will be in accordance with their Privacy Policy.

You may also submit comments or letters of support directly on the Public Access website.