OPPOSITION is growing against plans to build a film set east of Swinley Forest.

Buttersteep Rise in Ascot has been earmarked as a potential site for camera crews hoping to shoot a TV series.

The site, which is crown land on the border of the Royal Borough, is located east of Swinley Road.

READ MORE: Could Bridgerton be filmed in Bracknell Forest?

Details within the application point towards the series in question being the Netflix hit show Bridgerton, but this is not confirmed.

Bracknell News:

Although some News readers were intrigued by the possibility of some of the stars of the small screen coming to the borough, some neighbours were less pleased with the plans.

What do the objectors say?

Neighbours have outlined a number of different reasons for opposing this plan.

One resident suggested access to the site would be difficult with a busy film-crew shooting all day.

They said: “At its peak, between June and October, the applicants estimate there will be over 300 vehicles arriving on-site every day. Buttersteep Rise, our only access to our house and to their site, is a small road, barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other.

“We would like to see this application changed to use an entrance to the site that doesn’t have residential properties on it – the council cannot expect tax-paying residents to have to suffer as we will under this proposal.”

READ MORE: Plans submitted to Royal Borough for new film-set

Another commenter, who said they pay a yearly membership to park at Buttersteep Rise, claimed access would be made “impossible” due to the site’s narrow entry.

The impact of the film-set on the site’s biodiversity was another issue for one commenter.

Bracknell News: site access according to the developerssite access according to the developers

They said: “It is very disappointing to see this escalation in the use of this area in this way. The area is known for endangered species, including ground-nesting birds and rare reptiles.”

“I consider this to be detrimental to the area, and at odds with current use.

An increase in traffic was also a concern for one resident, who claimed the film-set use would bring congestion to ‘already busy routes’ on the A322 and A332.

Bracknell News: Vehicular access to the site according to the applicantsVehicular access to the site according to the applicants

They added: “I am also concerned about traffic leaving the A322 to enter the tight Buttersteep Rise Track will create anther accident danger spot on entry and exit.”

What do the applicants say?

Despite four objections being lodged against the plan already, one resident did offer a different outlook.

They suggested: “We appreciate the boost to the local economy this will bring.

“Those of us who regularly avail ourselves of the peace and mental release Buttersteep affords will have to suffer the consequences of a smaller piece of nature however as long as the production company doesn’t mind the occasional nosy dog or owner we can probably live with it.”

The economic benefit of the setup is something the applicants hope Bracknell Forest Council will recognise when judging the proposal.

READ MORE: Bracknell Forest locations where film and TV crews have shot footage

Applicants claim cast and crew will eat, shop and stay local and this should be considered as a ‘very special circumstance’ for allowing the proposals to go ahead.

This exception is needed to go ahead with the plans as the site is green belt land, which means it is protected from development by local and national policies unless a suitable reason to build applies.

Applicants argue any of their developments in the green belt are ‘completely reversible’ and therefore the set will have ‘no lasting impact on the landscape’.

Regarding local use of the site, the applicants claimed: “There are a number of permissive paths through the surrounding area, and the production company will work with local dog walkers to ensure access isn’t affected.”

The concerns raised around access have also been addressed by the applicants in their design statement.

They said: “The principal access for vehicles will be taken from Swinley Road (A332) via an existing access point at Buttersteep Rise.

“In terms of the route into the site from the adjoining highway, the vehicles will be instructed to follow a specific route, selected to minimise impact on the surrounding area.

“There will be an increase in traffic using the local road network during filming periods. However, this will be carefully managed by the film production unit, with signs and security to minimise any disruption”.

What next?

The council is currently consulting on the plans and will make a decision on the proposal in the coming months.

For full details of the plan, enter planning reference 20/01063/FUL at planapp.bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

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