Straiton film and TV studio plan approved by ministers
A major new film studio looks set to receive planning permission after the Scottish Government said it was minded to approve plans for the development.
Planning permission was agreed in principle yesterday after ministers overturned a decision against the studio, which will be built on green-belt land at Straiton on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Developers PSL Land Ltd said the Pentland Studios could help kick-start Scotland’s film industry and create more than 900 jobs.
The decision to back the Keppie-designed facility overturns an earlier recommendation from a Scottish Government reporter that permission be refused.
The proposal was called in by the government after Midlothian Council failed to make a ruling on the application, which was originally submitted in 2014.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The intention to grant planning permission in principle for the Pentlands development, subject to conditions and a planning obligation, has been made after careful consideration of the planning report and issues raised in objections.
“We welcome the potential for significant socio-economic benefits on a local and national scale through job creation and economic development.”
PSL hopes the studios would be open by late 2018.
A PSL spokesman said: “We will be moving forward immediately with the application for planning permission in detail for the film studio, academy and energy centre sections of the development.
“Working together with Midlothian Council, we hope this next stage will be expedited accordingly, recovering the construction scheduling that will enable delivery of the key studio operation by late 2018.
“It is anticipated that a detailed schedule to progress the planning application will be agreed with Midlothian Council in the next few weeks, producing a phased timeframe with the studio, academy and energy centre as the first buildings to be progressed to full planning consent.”
Keppie’s planning team were heavily involved in gaining government support for the plans which could lead to around 1600 jobs as well as delivering other social-economic benefits for the local area and community.
Richard MacDonald, director of Keppie Design, said: “We’re delighted to see positive progress taking place on this dynamic new initiative. It’s another great addition to Keppie’s growing portfolio of leisure and entertainment related projects.
“During the design journey, we’ve been able to draw on our multi-sector experience and broad skill base to make sure the blend of studio, film academy, creative industries hub, hotel and energy centre were all carefully considered. There’s no doubt that this unique development will allow the Scottish film and TV industry to successfully compete with the very best of the existing studio facilities in the UK.”
Gordon Allerton, director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, , which was appointed in 2014 to assist in the planning of the project, said: “We are delighted that the studio has received consent from the Scottish Government.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed supporting Pentland Studios in the planning process and are very grateful to be involved in a project that will have such a positive impact for the whole country.
“Our hope is that we can add to the work that has already been completed, in particular working closely with Midlothian Council to identify a route map for the proposed A701 relief road.”
Gordon Ash, director, PSL Land Ltd, added: “The team at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff have been extremely supportive and professional during the planning stages of the studio.
“It is an exciting prospect for everyone now to begin work on bringing Scotland its first world class film and TV studio complex.
“We look forward to working with both WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and Midlothian Council on the next stages of the project.”