EastEnders: Elstree planning policy ‘affecting storylines’

Albert Square sign
Image caption Having to apply for planning permission is affecting new storylines, a council meeting heard

BBC bosses will be able to make changes to the EastEnders set without planning permission if a new policy is approved.

Having to seek approval before making any alterations to the soap’s set in Elstree, Hertfordshire, is restricting scriptwriters, a council meeting heard.

Hertsmere Borough Council backed plans to introduce a Local Development Order, which would allow changes to be made without the council’s approval.

A public consultation on the policy will run until the end of October.

It will then need the approval of the full council before coming into effect, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Image caption The BBC is building a new Albert Square near the existing set at the BBC’s Elstree studios in Hertfordshire

A council executive meeting heard scriptwriters have to notify the council of any storyline that might require a new set, which can affect filming schedules.

The report said: “The Local Development Order will provide the BBC with an increased amount of flexibility when filming EastEnders allowing for changes to be made to the set which reflect new storylines.”

If the order is approved it will only be applicable to the “front lot” area of the site, which is being built on the site of the former staff car park.

Terms would also be in place to prevent the size of the site increasing by more than 20% and structures could not be more than three metres higher than existing buildings.

The order would be expected to remain for 30 years but the council or the BBC could revoke it at any points with 28 days’ notice.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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