Straiton film studio: Holyrood refuses to step in

An artist's impression of the proposed film studio. Picture: comp
An artist's impression of the proposed film studio. Picture: comp
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AN attempt to speed up a decision on proposals for a £150 million film and TV studio at to be built at Straiton has been knocked back.

Developers behind the project last week asked the Scottish Government to call in their application for consideration, claiming Midlothian Council was taking too long to make a decision. But the government has rejected the plea, saying ministers would only step in if the plan “raised issues of genuine national interest”.

The 86-acre Straiton Film Studio scheme put forward by PSL Land Ltd would be the first purpose-built film studio north of the Border.

The firm also plans to build a film school, student accommodation and a hotel, and says it will generate 900 jobs in the area. It would be partly built on greenbelt land.

The planning application was submitted on May 2 but permission has not been granted and may not be until June next year, once a local development plan is ratified.

It is understood the project is one of three separate studio schemes being explored in Scotland at present.

The plans unveiled in May showed six sound stages suitable for both film and television productions, alongside two Hollywood-style backlots, an outdoor water stage and a film academy.

Space would be made available to the advertising, gaming and music industries, as well as film, television and theatre companies.

A satellite-link “earth station” would allow swift and secure transfer of film or TV show rushes, clips or entire productions for editing or viewing purposes.

The complex would also have its own visitor attraction, allowing people to “experience the working dynamics of a world-class production facility”.

PSL Land Ltd has also proposed a 180-bedroom hotel, film school and student accommodation.

The developer had argued the council should have made a decision on the application by September 5. But the government has now informed the firm it will not intervene.

The letter said: “Having considered the information available for this proposal and while noting the major potential of the proposal and the intended delivery of an energy centre and film studio for Scotland; ministers do not propose to call in the application at this time.”

No-one from the developer wished to comment.

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com