Planning consent granted for Bray Studio expansion on Green Belt site
The historic studios, located near Windsor, are best known for producing Hammer horror films from the 1950s, and for the special effects for Alien in 1979. The studio on the River Thames lies within the Green Belt. Landscape and visual matters were therefore a paramount consideration.
The scheme will provide an expansion of the existing facilities, securing the future of this iconic British film studio. It includes new film stages, workshops, and ancillary offices, and will improve the site access from Windsor Road.
Nicholas Pearson Associates provided complementary Environmental Design services for the project, including landscape masterplanning and design, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), and the preparation of Verified View Montages (VVMs).
Our proposals include native woodland planting, trees, hedgerows, new meadows, and green roofs. Retained existing woodland vegetation provides a mature landscape setting to the proposals, whilst poor quality trees are being replaced with new species to form attractive and well-integrated spaces.
The LVIA considered the existing landscape character of the site and its setting, as well as the visual openness of the Green Belt. We noted a range of landscape and visual effects, including landscape design benefits, especially along Windsor Road frontage where the development is set well back allowing a balance of openness and landscape structure to be proposed.
The high quality VVMs that we prepared illustrated the landscape enhancements over time. As the proposed planting matures, our work shows how the new buildings would become well integrated into the local landscape and wider setting from Windsor Road.
The planning committee report noted the extent and quality of the landscape proposals – an important aspect of the project, especially in mitigating the adverse effects of the proposals.
Our work on the Film Studio continues our involvement at the site, including proposals for the restoration of the original Listed building at Down Place.