Temporary sets approved for top secret filming at Knebworth Estate

Front view of Knebworth House. Picture: Knebworth Estate

Front view of Knebworth House. Picture: Knebworth Estate - Credit: Archant

A retrospective planning application for the building of temporary sets at Knebworth Park has been approved by councillors at NHDC's planning control meeting on Thursday.

The application by agents Planit Consulting sought permission for temporary use of land for film making with associated temporary set and supporting facilities vehicles, access, parking and storage for 23 weeks alongside the temporary removal of part of an existing bund. 

Knebworth set plans

Grounds at Knebworth Park will be used for 23 weeks for filming - Credit: Planit Consulting

Councillors agreed unanimously to approve the application. 

The council's adopted policy under its economic development framework to encourage film and TV production within the district was cited, due to It bringing in employment and tourism.

At the meeting, councillor Mike Rice asked the question on everyone's lips: "Does anyone know what the film is?"


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However, case officer for the council, Sam Dicocco, was sworn to secrecy on his site visit - despite having not been told the purpose of filming, he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. 

Work had already begun at the historic grounds, as the owners already have development rights for the use of temporary structures, however only for a period of 28 days. 

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Cllr Terry Tyler said: "I had the privilege of being a trustee last year for Knebworth Park, and they are desperate for funds to repair the house.

"This permit will help them with some of the expensive repairs that need to be done."

Colin Firth stars in The Secret Garden, a Sky Original telling the story of Mary Lennox, a 10-year-o

Colin Firth stars in The Secret Garden, a Sky Original telling the story of Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven at Misselthwaite Manor, a remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors. Picture: StudioCanal / Sky UK - Credit: Studio Canal / Sky UK

Knebworth House has played host to a number of movie sets and music videos over the years.

It's film appearances include The Secret Garden, The King's Speech, St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, all starring Colin Firth, as well as Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in season four of The Crown. This scene was filmed on location at K

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in season four of The Crown. This scene was filmed on location at Knebworth House. Picture: Des Willie/Netflix - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix

It was used for Netflix's Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Sagastarring Will Ferrell. 

The house also doubles for the inside of Balmoral in The Crown, with Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gillian Anderson there for filming of series four of the award-winning Netflix royal drama.

Little Mix's Woman Like Me and Tears for Fears' Mad World music videos were also filmed at Knebworth House.

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Oasis' iconic performances at Knebworth.

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