Soap bosses will no longer need to seek planning permission to make some set changes.

Hertsmere Borough Council has adopted a local development order (LDO) that covers par of BBC Elstree where a new EastEnders set is being created.

Currently, a planning applications have to be made for certain types of development on set, which is in Borehamwood.

The LDO will not cover all types of development on set but this new agreement makes things easier and simpler for the production team and the council.

It is thought to be the first example of an LDO being used for a film and TV production site in the country.

Adrien Waite, the council’s head of planning and economic development said: "We’ve worked closely with the BBC throughout this process to ensure the LDO provides greater flexibility for scriptwriters and production teams, while introducing safeguards to protect residents from development within the site which could impact on them.

"Any substantive changes to the new EastEnders set will still require planning permission but the LDO means planning applications for routine set changes will be avoided and staff resouces can be focussed on other important work.

"I hope the LDO marks the beginning of a significant and successful new chapter in the borough’s long-running relationship with the BBC, and with the creative industry, in general. Its use in this way could serve as a model for other TV and film production sites."

The decision to adopt the order, which was approved at a full council meeting on Wednesday 22 January, was made after an informal public engagement event and a formal four-week consultation period were held last year.

The LDO will remain in place for 30 years.