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Have your say on EastEnders planning development order

Last Modified October 07, 2019

Views are invited on a proposal which could enable some changes to the set of EastEnders without seeking planning permission.

We are currently consulting on a draft Local Development Order (LDO) that would cover part of BBC Elstree where the new set is being constructed. If approved by our full council, the order would extend permitted development rights and eliminate the need for planning applications to be made for certain types of development at the site, which is located in the centre of Borehamwood. At the moment, studio chiefs have to apply to the council for, often, minor changes to be made such as changes to shopfronts or landscaping changes.

The new EastEnders set, which involves permanent structures with real materials rather than the facades used on the original lot, is being constructed on the former staff car park and due to come into use in 2021. It will enable filming in high definition.

Councillor Dr Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Planning said: “We enjoy a long and fruitful history of film-making and TV production in Elstree and Borehamwood and we want that association to continue well into the future.

“Obviously, at the same time our main concern is ensuring that production activities do not impact on the quality of the lives and surroundings of our residents who live nearby.

“We’ve been working closely with the BBC on drafting a Local Development Order, which will enable studio bosses to change and manage the front lot within a specified framework.

“This order should ensure that people living nearby are not affected by any developments, whilst also providing greater flexibility for scriptwriters and production teams.

 “If it is approved, then this could be the first use of its kind for an LDO and is a tool that could be used by other film or TV production sites, in conjunction with planning departments and local communities.”

LDOs are used for a range of commercial, business and residential developments. Currently there are more than 130 in place in the UK.

The public consultation will run until 8 November. Following this, a final version of the LDO is set to be considered by full council in January 2020.

The LDO sets out parameters on the heights of buildings, the total landscaped area, and elevational changes. It is linked to the original planning permission granted for the construction of a permanent film and television stage set in July 2015. It will also be used as a tool for the scriptwriters, so they know what restrictions on the set to follow.

If approved the LDO will be adopted in February and will remain in place for 30 years. To have your say go here.
Posted on Monday 7th October 2019

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