Plan to move Hulne Park sawmill to new site in Alnwick
The Northumberland Estates wants to move its sawmill from Hulne Park to an industrial estate on the south side of Alnwick.
Plans have been lodged with Northumberland County Council for the construction of a 1,700sqm industrial shed and other infrastructure on a site north of the Highways England depot at Lionheart Enterprise Park.
The development would also feature a 108sqm open-air silo, hard-standing areas for round-wood timber storage to the rear of the building, hard-standing areas for finished product storage and display to the front, access roads and parking.
Documents with the application explain that the relocation is required as the numerous buildings at the existing sawmill ‘are all in need of repair and improvement, with the sawmill line also requiring substantial modernisation’.
It adds: ‘Given the status of the existing buildings and the location in the historic Hulne Park, redevelopment of the site is very limited, hence the proposed relocation to Lionheart Enterprise Park (South).’
The planning statement notes that the site already has 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.
Conditions were discharged and part of the access road built, but then the scheme stalled due to viability issues with the power station.
The building in the new proposal is under half the size of the total floorspace of 4,068sqm in the previous consent.
The application suggests that there will be no significant environmental impacts in relation to the likes of noise and dust, while the traffic – including one delivery vehicle and three timber wagons a week plus 30 customer vehicles a day – is already on the road network.
The sawmill employs six full-time staff at present and through the move, ‘there are no immediate plans to increase this workforce, other than an initial appointment of an office staff member’.
However, 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’.