Plans to build blockbuster movie set on Salisbury Plain could be delayed

Plans to build blockbuster movie set on Salisbury Plain could be delayed

Published by Mike Draper at 10:58am 7th February 2019. (Updated at 11:02am 7th February 2019)

3 minute read

Steven Spielberg and Sam Mendes want to build a temporary film set near Shrewton but more investigations are needed into the plans.

The Hollywood movie directors want to create a temporary 'French Farm' on land just off Chitterne Road for a First World War blockbuster called 1917, but local archaeologists have asked for more investigations to make sure historic areas won't be damaged.

Wildlife experts also want extra assessments into the impact on the endangered stone curlew, with Natural England saying they are particularly worried about the birds "especially
if workers brought their dogs to site and exercised them."

They also write, in reply to the planning application, that the West Chisenbury site in particular is in close proximity to a number of specially created nesting plots for stone curlew, and that the proposed period of use coincides with the nesting season.

'French Farm' look of planning application


Spielberg and Mendes had hoped to start work on the site this week (week of 4 February) but that's on hold until further assessments are now carried out with Wiltshire Council.

A decision will then be made on the temporary planning application.

A Council spokesperson has told Spire FM:

"It is important an archaeological assessment is carried out prior to any work on site, as we have to be sure this proposed temporary development doesn't cause unnecessary damage to our rich archaeological heritage.........Our archaeologist has been working with the applicants' representatives to resolve any outstanding issues and we anticipate a decision will be made shortly."

It's not known whether the delay will impact on the film schedule.

They had hoped to finish preparing the site by 28th April, with filming due to begin the day after.

Shooting on the movie would then continue until June 2nd.

Location of proposed 'French Farm' set
Location of proposed 'French Farm' set

Little is known about the First World War film other than its name, but it is due to be released before Christmas.

They're still on the look out for extras to take part once filming begins.

Two10 Casting

Casting agency, Two10 Casting, needs males between the ages of 16 and 35.

On their website it says:

"Filming hours are often long so whilst experience is not essential, a positive 'can do’ attitude is a must."

They've also said that food and costumes will be provided for those taking part.

Interested in taking part in the film? Apply here.

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