Hart District Council rush through the RUSH job at Blackbushe!

Unusual measuring activities on the old tarmac crossing of Blackbushe Airport 13th Jan 2012

Well, it seems I thought wrong. Apparently you don’t need an accurate proposal to get a planning application granted.

On Thursday 12th January Hart District Council enabled its planning officer to approve ‘on the nod’ (without the matter going to a full planning meeting of local councillors) plans to film RUSH on the disused areas of Blackbushe Airport.

This appeared to ignore the objections of statutory authorities like Natural England and Hampshire CC Rights of Way, who outlined the ways in which the application had not met with the basic requirements of any application to use the site.

My understanding is that work on construction of the set cannot start until 21 days from 12th January, during which time it is possible for Natural England (or another interested party) to lodge an objection with the Secretary of State for the Environment on the grounds that the applicant has not carried out the necessary environmental surveys, and is intent on constructing things (however temporarily) on common land.

The sort of bush I find fascinating. There's a bird there, but you can't see it as my camera isn't that good!

Presumably, unless this happens, work on building the RUSH set will commence on or after 2nd February 2012 (assuming I’ve counted to 21 accurately).

However, on Friday 13th January I saw people appearing to measure out the 300m length of tarmac that the set is proposed to cover (see photo above), so it would seem that all possible preparations are being made in advance. But I also saw a rare heathland bird (not visible in the photo, left), keeping up appearances as it were!

Perhaps, if you’re a film company wanting to spend significant money in the local economy, the legal niceties of sticking to rules are more easily navigated than you or I might experience in our own lives. Or perhaps, there is some other over-riding reason for ignoring the objections of statutory authorities and laws.

Or perhaps I’m just becoming cynical in my old age?!


Tues 17th Jan 11:26am: Reports by email that set construction started yesterday with lorries unloading significant equipment – I will take camera and check later. What happened to the condition of planning permission dated 12th January that

“no development could take place for a p21 day period commencing the date that this permission is issued, to comply with Section 28l of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended”

Tues 17th Jan 9am: Rush Films Ltd are obviously assuming (or know) that no further objections will be lodged as today they have hand delivered information leaflets to houses on the local Wordsworth estate (at least) explaining the film and filming process, and asking for those interested in being Extras on the set to contact them. Those wanting to take part will be expected to supply photographs of themselves and if successful grow their hair to fit better with the period (1976).

The Location Management team can be contacted regarding all matters relating to the set construction, filming, access and local environment and by potential supporting artists on blackbusherush@hotmail.com



  1. It is this sort of blatant disregard of all proprieties that gives politicians a bad name. I do hope that the necessary objections are filed and that they do not get with such shenanigans.


  2. Why are you moaning, they are only going to be using the old tarmac runways, it is not really going to affect the wildlife is it, its not like they are actually destroying the common they are just useing the tarmaced sufaces of the old runway, you should find something better to moan about


    • As you will see from later posts “brian” (like https://ramtopsrac.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/rush-to-build-film-set-ignores-planning-conditions/) I am more concerned at present about the principle that both film companies and district councils should abide by the rules that are enforced on lesser mortals.

      I have never said that they are likely to destroy the common, but I will watch with interest whether they continue to show a lack of integrity with their (flawed) planning application. Past experience of the filming of blockbuster movies in protected habitats is that film companies do not always understand the measures that need to be taken to protect the environment, and have a tendency (as already proved in this case) to ignore legal conditions that apply to their use of a site.


  3. I understand what you are saying but still feel that there are far more important local issues that could benefit from your time and energy, now smell my cheese


  4. I get fed up with people who stand in the way of things like this going on about what possible impact that it might have on the breeding season of the lesser spotted flat bellied glow worm, most of these people don’t even know what the runways are like and never use the common. My advice to all of you tree hugging vegans is to get yourself down to McDonalds order a Big Mac meal, go super size and get a life!! It’s not going to be forever it’s a few months that will bring much needed money and prestige to Yateley.


  5. well said yateley boy i totaly agree with you and what damage are they going to be doing no more than the endless amount of light aircraft takeing off and landing at black bush and the millions of cars that go through bca car auctions on a yearly basis next you bunch of tree huggers will be trying to shut them down because there both on common land get a life the birds will find some were else to mate


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