Woodland used for movies such as James Bond blockbusters could be turned into a film set once again, as a production company has sought permission to temporarily use the site.
Film company Assembled Productions II UK has submitted an application to Hart District Council for permission to transform Hawley Common, as early as next month, into an outdoor fighting scene for their latest production.
It has not been unveiled what movie they plan to shoot, but scenes from 007 films and Johnny English have been filmed at the Blackwater location in the past.
However, the plans do reveal that a ‘small defensive bunker’ would be constructed in the woods to aid the filming of scenes in which principle characters are engaged in fighting with opposing forces. In addition, there would be a simulation of bullets and debris hitting surrounding trees and it is proposed to cover the area with a light dressing of snow, achieved through synthetic materials that would be biodegradable and wood based.
Planit Consulting, agent on behalf of the applicant, said in the plans: “The production company proposes the use of special effects on site as part of the filming.
“These will comprise mechanical effects to create wind, smoke and ‘explosions’ to simulate a battle.”
The land is managed by the Ministry of Defence and forms part of their military training area.
There is public access through the site, which is said to remain unaffected by the proposed use for filming and associated parking.
The filming company would like to use the set from March 17 until April 15.
During the construction phase and the week following the filming, it is proposed that the site would be used between 7am and 6pm.
During the filming period, the hours of operation would be increased, from 6am until 9pm.
It is expected that around 150 to 200 people will be present during the peak filming period.
Planit Consulting said the making of the film would bring ‘considerable financial benefits’ to the immediate area.
Bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets would be needed for the cast, plus local timber, waste management supplies and machinery hire would be needed for production use.
A public consultation into the plans opened last Tuesday and residents have until March 13 to express their views.
The council has already received two letters from members of the public on the proposals. Tom Gahagan, council officer on behalf of Blackwater and Hawley Town Council, said: “Although this area had been used previously for filming and access would be from Minley Road, there was a concern about possible access from Woodside where the road was in poor condition.
“The council would object if access was from Woodside, unless this road was improved first and provided also that the application was acceptable to Natural England.”
Blackwater resident Mike Gunston, said: “I have no objection to the planning application in theory but I would like to know the access route for the vehicles. If it is via Woodside the road surface will not take the movement of up to 150 cars and 30 trucks. The road is severely pot-holed and there is already a risk of injury or damage to the residents and their vehicles.”