The under-construction Sunset Studios near Waltham Cross has submitted a planning application for land to facilitate ‘bigger budget’ productions

Sunset Studios has asked Broxbourne Borough Council for permission to turn the sports ground that was once part of Tesco’s own country club into a backlot, where filmmakers can shoot outdoor scenes.

The old Tesco Country Club, near Goffs Oak, backs onto the Sunset Studios site, separated only by the New River.

To build the backlot, Sunset Studios would have to build on two football pitches and the clubhouse. According to the applicant: “The scheme respects the development in the Green Belt area by locating proposed built volume over existing buildings, whilst keeping the large open area free for temporary sets”.

A ‘safe, secure fence’ and trees at 5.5-metre tall would shield the site from the public’s eyes. The former Tesco Country Club, also known as Cheshunt Country Club for part of its life, was once part of the Theobalds House grounds – the royal palace which King James I acquired from Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury, in exchange for the palace at Hatfield.

The supermarket giant left its Cheshunt headquarters in Delamare Road in 2015, setting up shop in Welwyn Garden City. Sunset Studios will arrive in the Borough of Broxbourne from Los Angeles, where it has sites near the Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard

A statement by Sunset Studios’ design team reads: “The application site will provide a much-needed backlot to boost the quantum of provision to compete on the same level [as its competitors].

This will in turn enable bigger budget productions which need larger backlots than currently provided, thus attracting a wider audience of higher-calibre tenant. The combined Sunset Waltham Cross Studios site therefore should be able to accommodate a best-in-class film studio campus on all fronts.”

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