Not in one’s back yard: Plans to build Bridgerton set in Windsor Great Park are rebuffed

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255750345 / f467a92e-cdd0-30a3-beb7-b95c11d21370 Original description: This image released by Netflix shows Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, center, in the romance series "Bridgerton." Television producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will be honored for their wardrobe efforts on projects like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. (Liam Daniel/Netflix via AP) Image title: CDGA Collaborator Award Credit: Liam Daniel Source: Netflix Filename: TELEMMGLPICT000255750345.jpeg - Liam Daniel/Netflix via AP
255750345 / f467a92e-cdd0-30a3-beb7-b95c11d21370 Original description: This image released by Netflix shows Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, center, in the romance series "Bridgerton." Television producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will be honored for their wardrobe efforts on projects like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Bridgerton" at the Costume Designers Guild Awards. (Liam Daniel/Netflix via AP) Image title: CDGA Collaborator Award Credit: Liam Daniel Source: Netflix Filename: TELEMMGLPICT000255750345.jpeg - Liam Daniel/Netflix via AP

It would have been fascinating to discover what a certain neighbour might have made of the steamy goings-on taking place a short carriage ride away from Windsor Castle.

But it looks as if we’ll never know.

Plans to film future series of the Regency drama Bridgerton in Windsor Great Park are about to be scuppered by the local planning authority, after an outcry from councillors and residents.

The plans would have entailed the construction of a set for future series of the Netflix drama in the park, allowing producers to chronicle the amorous intrigues of the Bridgerton and Featherington families.

Under the proposals, the site would have seen the building of a Regency neighbourhood on the southwestern edge of the park, with a 120m by 120m central square, a Mayfair street (including the grand homes of some of the main protagonists), a modiste, tea house and a back alleyway.

Plans submitted to Windsor and Maidenhead Council included 165 parking spaces, with up to 150 people on-site at a time over the next five years.

Producers of the hit show said the film set would boost the local economy, with cast and crew using hotels and restaurants in nearby Windsor and Ascot and local suppliers providing their services.

However, the prospect of spotting stars such as Regé-Jean Page, Polly Walker and Phoebe Dynevor at close quarters wasn’t enough to persuade locals of the plans’ merits.

 and paste into caption etc.): Hub ID/Assets ID: 247317614 / 576c1fc9-f16a-30c4-af08-9d40218d5689 Image headline: Television Bridgeton Original description: Bridgerton, Season 1, 2020 Netflix, handout, ... BRIDGERTON (L to R) RUBY BARKER as MARINA THOMPSON in episode 103 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020 Credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX Source: Television Stills Filename: TELEMMGLPICT000247317614.jpeg - LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
and paste into caption etc.): Hub ID/Assets ID: 247317614 / 576c1fc9-f16a-30c4-af08-9d40218d5689 Image headline: Television Bridgeton Original description: Bridgerton, Season 1, 2020 Netflix, handout, ... BRIDGERTON (L to R) RUBY BARKER as MARINA THOMPSON in episode 103 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020 Credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX Source: Television Stills Filename: TELEMMGLPICT000247317614.jpeg - LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Sunninghill and Ascot parish council, which received several letters of objection from nearby residents, has already said the set would be damaging to the environment, stating: “The applicant has significantly underestimated the harm the development and its accesses will do to the green belt, biodiversity and users of the popular footpaths affected by the proposals.

“We are concerned that if permission is granted the site will be used as a filming facility for many years thereafter."

Windsor Great Park has provided the backdrop to films such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and Goodbye Christopher Robin in recent years, but the proposed permanence of the set upset locals.

Alamy Live News. 2CMGPT5 Windsor, UK. 17th September, 2020. A red deer stag is pictured in front of Windsor Castle at sunrise. The deer park enclosure in Windsor Great Park is home to a herd of around 500 red deer descended from forty hinds and two stags introduced by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1979. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check. - Alamy
Alamy Live News. 2CMGPT5 Windsor, UK. 17th September, 2020. A red deer stag is pictured in front of Windsor Castle at sunrise. The deer park enclosure in Windsor Great Park is home to a herd of around 500 red deer descended from forty hinds and two stags introduced by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1979. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check. - Alamy

One resident said: “Access to the site will bring a great many vehicles onto what is currently a beautiful and peaceful area of land, used by a lot of walkers.

“The proposed site will have an awful building because the film set will create the image of a town within, but the exterior view will have clutter and scaffolding.”

Now the proposals are set to be rejected by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s planning panel next Wednesday.

A report by the council’s own planning officials, who recommend the set should be refused permission, describes the development as “inappropriate” and resulting in “loss of openness to the Green Belt”.

It adds: “The proposal would detract from the rural character and appearance of the area and be detrimental to the recreational value of the public footpath.

“Insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that protected species and/or their habitats would not be adversely affected by the proposal.”

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