Britain is at risk of losing the James Bond movies after plans to expand the franchise’s iconic Pinewood Studios were rejected.
Bosses at the movie unit in Buckinghamshire, England applied to local planning officials for permission to extend the site across an area of adjacent land in what would have been a $310 million project.
However, the proposals were turned down by officials at South Buckinghamshire Council on Wednesday due to the expansion taking place on ‘greenbelt’ land, where prominent building work is restricted.
Councillor Bill Lidgate says, “We’re 87 percent greenbelt in South Bucks and those policies are jealously protected. The point people must understand is that Pinewood Studios do not make films, they rent out buildings.”
Just days before the rejection, Pinewood chief executive Ivan Dunleavy warned the studio faced losing the Bond films if the expansion didn’t go ahead.
He said, “If we as a sector don’t respond to the growing demand (for bigger and better facilities) then someone else will. (The Bond producers) have to be financially responsible. If they get a better proposal elsewhere than the U.K. can mount then they have to look after their business as well.”
All except two of the 23 films in the Bond franchise have been filmed at Pinewood.