News that a new Mary Anning blockbuster will be filmed in west Dorset next month has been decribed as 'fantastic for the area.

Ammonite will feature Hollywood actresses Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan and reportedly follow a fictitious relationship between the famous fossil hunter and another woman.

Last night, Lyme Regis Town Council gave its permission for producers to film on its land at various locations across the town, including land below Bell Cliff and on Monmouth Beach.

Filming will also take place at the harbour and Cobb.

Speaking before the meeting, Cllr Jeff Scowen, a member of the tourism committee, said: "This is fantastic for Lyme. It will boost the economy and do what Broadchurch did for West Bay. I can't see any negativity. 

"Since The French Lieutenant's Woman we've been waiting forever for something like this to happen again. It's really exciting and phenomenally good for Lyme - every town wants a film made about it. It will put Lyme on the map."

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

STAR: Kate Winslet will feature in Ammonite

Ammonite will be filmed over eight days in March. It is anticipated for the crew to work between 7am and 9pm on weekdays only.

During that time, producers want to close a section of the pavement from the Seasalt shop down to the steps leading to Cobb Gate car park to pedestrians.

They have submitted requests to Dorset County Council to use the highways, to possibly remove three street lamps, to book the four parking spaces below Seasalt, to operate a stop/go traffic management system.

The team are also asking West Dorset District Council to book parking spaces in Cobb Gate and Holmbush car parks.

The filming crew want to build a two-storey fake Georgian house font outside the Seasalt shop and install a fake stone wall in front of the bus shelter above Cobb Gate car park. They say they are engaged in ‘extensive consultation’ with local businesses.

They ensure that any works done to any of the buildings will be temporary, non-destructive and returned to ‘as-found’ condition.

Ammonite has been developed by See-Saw Films, the British Film Institute and BBC Films and will be written and directed by Francis Lee. Lee is best known for his 2017 film, God’s Own Country, a story about the gay relationship between a Yorkshire farmer and a migrant worker from Romania.

Ronan recently appeared in an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, filmed on location here in Dorset. The town last hit the big screen in an adaptation of John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, released in 1981.

The blockbuster – starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons – was adapted by Harold Pinter and later nominated for five Academy Awards.

See-Saw Films and representatives for Lee have been contacted for comment.