- Meeting of Pinewood Community Liaison Group, Monday, 27th January, 2020 5.00 pm (Item 42.)
To include an update on the following:-
1. Pinewood Studios Development Phase 2 update
2. REO Application
3. Seven Hills Road Application
Matthew Wright, Andrew Smith and Kathryn Maidment from Pinewood Studios provided the following updates:
Pinewood Studios Development Phase 2 update
A photographic overview of Pinewood East was presented to the meeting and the group was advised that the majority of this phase of the development was now complete, and the new car park and perimeter road were in use. The new workshop was expected to be completed in May. The green roofs of the four new stages had now been seeded and should start seeing growth in the spring time. Around nine site visits were planned each year by the County Ecologist and approximate combined stats for the completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 landscape works were provided to the group at the meeting:
· New species rich meadows – 43,000sq.m (4.3ha)
· New native woodlands – 15,450sq.m (1.5ha) – 15,450 trees
· New native hedgerows – 2,100 lin.m (2km) – 10,500 hedge plants
· New native shrub planting – 1,900 sq.m – 1,900 shrubs/trees
· New species rich green roofs – 25,000 sq.m (2.5ha)
· 1 reptile underpass, 20 invertebrate features, 16 hibernaculas and 11 bat boxes. There were also a number of bird/owl boxes.
It was confirmed that the plant mix on the new roofs would be as per the existing roofs although each would develop its own character.
In terms of lighting, officers from the council’s Environmental Health team had visited the site and approved the lighting scheme and backlot management plan. All street lighting was to be LED with 90 degree heads which pointed directly downward. The environmental statement set out the acceptable lighting which was that they would generally be in use until 11pm unless critical lighting was needed to light pathways and roads during the night.
Three planning applications had been submitted for five new stages. The group was shown a photographic overview of the site and the location and detail of each proposal was highlighted. No concerns had been raised by the council tree officer, nor by the Black Park Tree Officer.
A query was raised around the existing Air Quality Management Area in Iver and whether any carbon offset contribution was planned as part of the development. It was explained that this was usually part of officer negotiation with the planning applicant and Pinewood was willing for the council to apply its policies. The new aspects of the development covered a similar footprint to that which was already in place, and there would be a reduction in overall net floor space. In terms of energy efficiency, the group was advised that the stages did not have air conditioning installed, although were heated when necessary, however the new buildings would be significantly more effective than the inefficient heating in the old buildings. All renewable energy policies set in the council’s Local Plan would be followed. Pinewood’s site owners also had a Sustainability Officer with their own objectives to meet.
In response to a further question, it was said that photovoltaic solar panels would likely be requested once planning permission had been granted to further make use of renewable energy resources. It was not known at the meeting how the council’s Local Plan renewable energy policies affected new commercial industrial buildings. Pinewood would discuss what regulatory requirements were in place with council officers.
A member of the group advised that on entering Black Park from Fulmer Common Road up to the workshop on Pinewood land there was a significant amount of unsightly rubbish. Pinewood agreed to address this in the days which followed the meeting.
In respect of Iver Heath Residents Association’s comments submitted to the local planning authority in response to the application, it was noted that the comments submitted were suggestions rather than formal objections.
Sevenhills Road Application
The planning application for the Sevenhills Road upgrade had now been submitted and a consultation website had been set up https://www.sevenhillsconsultation.co.uk/. A significant number of local residents had engaged with the consultation and useful discussions with affected residents had taken place. It was clear that landscaping was a significant concern of many residents and it had been discussed at length the various ways to mitigate the impact of vehicle sight. It had been agreed to apply a condition to the application to have an agreed landscape scheme in place prior to any work starting.
A member of the group noted that the description of infrequent HGV use on the road in the planning application was not necessarily accurate as it was known that there were businesses based on the road with associated heavy vehicle movements. The group agreed that it would be important to be alert to new sites being used for HGV storage. As Buckinghamshire Council would be established on 1 April 2020, council planning and freight traffic responsibilities would be held by the same authority and it was hoped these service areas would discuss issues. The group believed that being aware of any new activity may assist in preventing it from establishing. Pinewood would be attending an upcoming Fulmer Parish Council meeting, along with transport consultants to provide specific responses to traffic queries. It was understood that traffic surveys had been undertaken in September 2019 during term time. There was further concern that traffic would be drawn to the A412 which was already a heavily used road. Should the Sevenhills Road application be approved it was understood that the highway authority had a project planned to work on effective lane filtering as a method of controlling traffic merging on to the A412. It was also noted that the redeveloped Sevenhills Road would create an alternative route for people to use to alleviate pressure points in other areas.
Any other business
Residents of Pinewood Green had installed access gates and bridges over the ditch which backed on to Pinewood Studios and had also taken down sections of Pinewood fencing to create access. This was an ecology area which had to be protected and notes would be distributed to residents in the immediate weeks following this meeting. Pinewood Studios had completed work on overhanging trees, which whilst were not in its ownership had been done to benefit neighbours of the site and users of the permissible path.