Decision details

To agree with Surrey Wildlife Trust to close the sawmill operation at Norbury Park- PART 1

Decision Maker: Executive Director Resources, Executive Director Environment, Transport & Infrastructure

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Please note this report is provided in two parts and all commercial in confidence information is contained in Part 2.

SCC’s Cabinet approved a new delivery model for Surrey County Council’s (SCC) Countryside Estate (CE) dated 2002, as attached on the 31st March 2020. It returned the responsibility for visitor services and access to the Council. Conservation and habitat management continues to be managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT). A new deed of variation and lease was signed with SWT on 14th August 2020 to formalise this new delivery model.

The sawmill was part of the CE when transferred to SWT in 2002 and has been managed by SWT throughout the contract. Aside from two financial years in this 18-year period, it required funding from the estate budget to support its operation.

The sawmill does not fit within the responsibilities for either party in the new operating model. SWT have confirmed they do not want to continue with responsibility for its operation, returning their focus to core biodiversity activity, and the running of a commercial sawmill is not a core function of the Council and.

SCC committed to undertaking an options appraisal, as part of the transitional arrangements for estate property and, pending completion of the variation, to explore whether the operation could continue. The Options Appraisal concluded closure was the best option.


Decision made:


It was AGREED that:


1.               A deed of variation be negotiated and agreed between the Council and SWT to remove the sawmill from the contract begun in 2002, in accordance with clause 2.1.1, from the 31st March 2021.

2.               To terminate the tenancy at will to occupy the site on 30th April 2020, and agree any ongoing management costs for the site.

3.               Authority for the signing of the above letter is delegated to SCC’s Legal representatives


Reasons for the decision:

Please refer to summary set out in Part 2


Alternative options considered:

Please refer to options appraisal included in Part 2.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:

Please refer to Part 2.

Publication date: 19/02/2021

Date of decision: 12/02/2021

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