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Views sought on Dagenham film studios plan

PUBLISHED: 17:08 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:51 14 February 2020

People share their views ahead of the planning application being submitted. Picture: Jon King

People share their views ahead of the planning application being submitted. Picture: Jon King

Archant

"It'll put Dagenham on the map."

Peter Miller surveys the plans. Picture: Jon KingPeter Miller surveys the plans. Picture: Jon King

That's just one view expressed at the public unveiling of plans for a film studio on the former site of Sanofi Pharmaceuticals off Rainham Road South.

Peter Miller, who lives in Essex Road, said: "It's a good thing for it to come here. It will bring jobs. It'll put Dagenham on the map."

Retired Ford worker, Colin Jones, said: "It's brilliant. The growth will be fantastic."

The 74-year old of Western Avenue, who has lived in the area for 47 years, added he also backed the plans because the studios wouldn't have a great impact on The Chase Nature Reserve.

The public consultation is on the former Sanofi site. Picture: Jon KingThe public consultation is on the former Sanofi site. Picture: Jon King

"This is going to be a good boost for the area. Hopefully, it wont be too long before building work starts," he said.

The proposals are for the local authority's regeneration firm, Be First, to design and seek planning permission for London's largest film studios for 25 years covering more than 20 acres.

The plans - which went on show on Thursday, February 13 - include about 13,000 square metres of stage space, five warehouses and offices. Building heights range from 15 to 21 metres.

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Be First predicts the studio will generate 100s of jobs, and has pledged to work with schools and colleges to make sure people from the borough have the skills they need to work at the venue.

The planning application is almost ready but the scheme's backers want to get people's views before it is submitted to the council, which could be in early March.

David Harley, Be First's head of regeneration, said: "We've been delighted at the number of people who have turned up so far to the consultation. A lot of people who used to work at the site have visited.

"They really loved working here when Sanofi was here and they are really keen and excited about the future prospects."

Studio space is in demand from film companies and Dagenham's location near central London is a huge draw, David added.

Studio and sound stage builder, Pacifica Ventures, was the preferred bidder for the project, but pulled out last year citing concerns over Brexit.

Be First now seeks to provide a potential buyer or tenant with more certainty.

David said: "We really recognise the need to secure planning permission to get investors to take the scheme forward. We're ploughing ahead in delivering the planning application and getting the scheme moving forward."

To see the plans and comment visit yourcall.befirst.london/made-in-dagenham

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