An analysis commissioned by Buckinghamshire Council and carried out by property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) questioned the economic benefits of the proposed Film Studios development in Marlow.
The review accepted the demand for studio space but questioned whether the need for new developments had been overstated in the studios’ planning application.
It siad: “We consider the combination of sites recently delivered and sites with planning consent or expansion to existing facilities to be sufficient to address the majority of unmet demand.”
It also rejected the planning application’s statement that the West London Cluster of filming locations is “the only place in the UK that can attract major high-end television (HETV).”
LSH suggested that it might be more economically beneficial to develop studio facilities in an unestablished location.
They said Marlow Film Studio might not be a major generator of employment and economic activity because it would draw from a pre-existing supply chain.
However, LSH concluded that while they consider a larger area to be viable for film and high-end television production, they “fully support that Marlow would be considered a good studio development”.
Environmental campaign group Save Marlow’s Greenbelt called the report “a severe blow” to the development plans.
Chairman of the group, Richard Sherwin, said: “This report supports our belief that these developers don’t understand the film industry and that they only selected Little Marlow because Greenbelt land offers bigger profits.”
Residents in Marlow have expressed mixed feelings about the pending Film Studios in their neighbourhood.
Tian Boyce said: “I support the Film Studios because of the fantastic job opportunities it will bring to the community and I think it’s a brilliant use of space.”
Marian Muly agreed that the development would benefit the local community.
She said: “A studio such as this will not only bring employment and training benefits but would raise the prestige of Marlow. We do not want to be a merely commuter town, which there is a danger of becoming.”
However, other residents objected to the Film Studios project on environmental grounds.
Martin Watts said: “Not only would the structure be a huge eye-sore for myself and other residents, but the parking would inevitably spill over into our residential road.”
Phil Sharp agreed, writing: “I believe this will have a detrimental impact on the local environment, traffic pollution, road and pedestrian safety.”
A spokesperson from Marlow Film Studios said: “We welcome this independent report which supports our planning application.
“The studios will bring 4180 new jobs and £338 million in economic benefit to the area and the report recognises this value in its first page summary, saying: ‘We are supportive of any studio development that adds to the UK infrastructure and capacity, which is something that if built out, Marlow Film Studios would undoubtedly do.'”