Warner Bros. (WB) Studios in Leavesden and Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) are facing significant backlash from Hunton Bridge residents over approved plans for green belt land to be used as a filming facility.
WB told TRDC that they needed to use the field on Gypsy Lane, Hunton Bridge, as a temporary extension to their studio to help them follow COVID-19 regulations without delays in production.
TRDC approved the plans in a public meeting at the end of February despite more than 50 written objections, and The Gypsy Lane and Fernhills Residents’ Group believe TRDC’s approval was “rushed and ill-considered”.
Following the public meeting, the residents’ group said the decision was centred “only around WB’s alleged temporary need for filming to overcome COVID problems and a flawed acceptance that there would be limited visual impact on green belt land”.
The residents’ association said their main objective now that WB has started using the land is to “ensure that WB demonstrates a respect for the green belt land whilst they are allowed to use it, protects nature, provides new areas for it to flourish in, and to fully return the land to green belt by April 25, 2023, as required by TRDC.”
In response, a WB spokesperson said: “Warner Bros. recognises the value that Gypsy Lane brings to the area and we are committed to looking after it.
“Our goal is to improve the experience for those that use Gypsy Lane and to improve the ecology and biodiversity of the adjoining land after years of farming.
“We are undertaking a significant amount of additional planting to the existing hedgerow as well as seeding the open areas to encourage wildlife back to Gypsy Lane.
“We are also proposing to create a new copse of native trees near to the railway bridge and are developing plans that will allow residents to further enjoy the area.”
Picture credit Adrian Stokes