Go-ahead for film studios on former industrial site

Plans have been approved for a new film studio complex on a derelict industrial site at Dagenham in east London, in line with a recommendation from planners who advised that the scheme would create new job opportunities, attract investment and bring a brownfield site back into productive use.

A visualisation of the finished scheme (Pic: Andrew Baker)
A visualisation of the finished scheme (Pic: Andrew Baker)

Be First, a regeneration delivery vehicle owned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, submitted the full planning application for the redevelopment of a 7.45-hectare area of the London East Business and Technical Park at Dagenham in March.

According to a planning report, the application site has been derelict since 2009.

The proposals for the site include the refurbishment of existing industrial buildings to create workshop space and create a new mezzanine level; the construction of new purpose-built sound stages; the construction of new office space; and the construction of new 'flexible' workshops.

The scheme would be known as Dagenham Studios.

The planning report, considered at a meeting of Barking and Dagenham Council's planning committee earlier this week, advised that the majority of the application site sits within the authority's local plan as "having potential for employment uses".

It added that a "small portion" of the application site sits within a designated Locally Significant Industrial Site (LSIS), "meaning that it is a location to which policy directs Class B industrial uses (Use Classes B1(c), B2 and B8), as well as flexible space for SMEs".

The report advised that the proposals would see "no loss of industrial floorspace" as part of the proposed development, rather there would be an increase of approximately 40,000 square metres.

It added that, while local planning policy does not specifically identify office use as being suitable for the site, "given that the office accommodation is ancillary to the [industrial] uses it is considered that the principle of the proposed [office] uses is compliant with the overarching theme of [local planning policy] which seeks to provide a new mixed and balanced community in this key regeneration area".

Recommending approval, the report concluded that the proposed development "would result in the provision of a world-class new film studio at Dagenham which will create new job opportunities and attract investment into the Borough and would bring a brownfield site back into productive use".

Planners advised that the proposal "is of a good quality, inclusive design and offers the opportunity to create links between the film industry, the local community, local schools, universities and the council".

Planners recommended that planning permission be granted subject to any direction from the mayor of London.

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