Plans to relocate Alnwick sawmill get the green light

Northumberland Estates has received planning permission to relocate its Alnwick sawmill.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Hulne Park Sawmill in Alnwick.

The company, which manages the Duke of Northumberland’s business interests, intends to move its sawmill from Hulne Park to a new build at Lionheart Enterprise Park.

Buildings at the existing sawmill are in need of repair and improvement and redevelopment would be difficult, while the sawmill line also requires modernisation

Clint Johnson, head forester and sawmill manager at Northumberland Estates, said: “It is exciting to see work finally able to begin on this project which has been many years in the planning in terms of design, sourcing the right machinery and utilisation of new technology.

"This investment in both the building and new equipment, will enable Northumberland Estates to increase recovery and efficiency and better utilise the wide variety and volume of home grown and sustainably produce timber on the Estate.

"It will enable expansion of this side of the business at a time when the environmental credentials of products are increasingly important as is the buy local message.

"Future plans include increasing the range of products made and offered for sale through the sawmill and the installation of a chipper line into the mill will produce a renewable woodchip fuel supply for use in the Estate’s biomass system and for sale to the wider biomass industry.

"The improved location will enable us to extend opening hours for the retail side and better showcase our growing product range.”

The new sawmill will be built on a site north of the Highways England depot.

The site previously had planning permission for a sawmill after a bid for a new facility and a combined heat and power (CHP) power station was approved in February 2012. However, the scheme stalled due to viability issues with the power station.

The sawmill currently employs six full-time staff but there are no immediate plans to increase this workforce, other than an initial appointment of an office staff member,

However, a planning report reveals the new machinery line ‘will have the capability to double current production, reduce manual handling, increase efficiency, improve health and safety, and the production of a better-quality finished product’.

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