Plans to cut film-makers' red tape
Film-makers could be handed a way to cut through red tape quickly in order to get their projects off the ground under new Government plans.
With the film and creative industries bringing in more than £8 million an hour for the UK economy in the last three years, the new proposals are aiming for film-makers to automatically get the go-ahead to build outside sets and to carry out commercial filming in buildings.
It is hoped new permitted development rights will help productions such as the recent money-spinning James Bond film Skyfall, whose makers had to seek planning permission to film or build temporary sets, over and above permission from the landowner, according to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
Mr Pickles said: "Bond wouldn't want to battle this bureaucracy, and neither should the film industry."
Suggesting the plans could provide greater planning certainty for production companies by granting them a licence to build, Mr Pickles said: "These proposals make it much easier for firms to use buildings and land as temporary locations for filming that next Oscar winner."
Possible job creation, the potential tourist pound and a boost to the local economy are some of the benefits of having a film crew on location, according to Mr Pickles.
The proposals, which would apply to England, include allowing filming in buildings and outside on single sites of up to one hectare, which can be split between buildings and land.
It also allows for the construction and removal of associated sets.
The creation of outside sets would be possible up to a maximum height of around 33ft (10 metres) above ground level.
Provided there has been prior approval, these rights could be secured for a maximum of nine months in any rolling 27-month period.
However, film-makers would be barred from making any changes to protected areas such as National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty and listed buildings.
No demolition or excavation would be allowed, and the rights would not be permitted in protected areas, under the plans.
The Communities department said that consultation on the proposals would be published soon.