The Scottish government has approved a £250m scheme to develop the country’s first purpose-built film and television studio on the southern outskirts of Edinburgh, overruling opposition from the local authority and the recommendations of its own officials. Â
PSL Land, the development company behind the plan, welcomed the decision and said it would be "moving forward immediately with the application for planning permission in detail for the Film Studio, Academy and Energy Centre sections of the development".
The International TV & Film Production Facility of Scotland, also known as Pentland Studios, will be based near Straiton. It will include six sound stages, two backlots, a 180-room hotel, 50,000 square feet of workshop space and a film academy.
PSL is hoping to agree a planning schedule with Midlothian council in the next few weeks, and to complete the studio, academy and energy centre by late 2018.
The government reporter, who investigated the appeal, recommended that "consideration be given" to the council’s fears that other projects could be threatened by Pentlands, and that the studio would cause "significant adverse effects on the character of the local landscape".
The green-belt site of Scotland’s future film studios (PSL Land)
Despite this, the ruling from ministers said the likely benefits of the scheme outweighed the loss of green belt and the impact on neighbouring residents and the roads network.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff was appointed in 2014 to assist with the planning of the scheme, and will continue to support its civil and structural, environmental and geotechnical engineering works.
Gordon Allerton, a director of the company, said in a press statement: "We’re delighted that the studio has received consent. Our hope is that we can add to the work that has already been completed, in particular working closely with Midlothian Council to identify a route map for the proposed A701 relief road."
The project is expected to create more than 1,600 jobs and provide a boost to Scotland’s ability to attract international blockbuster film productions and TV series, as well as indigenous productions.
Top image: The Scotland’s future film studios (PSL Land)