Issue details

Returning the Countryside Estate to Residents

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 type: Key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 28/01/2019

Decision due: 31 Mar 2020 by Cabinet

Decision due: 12 Feb 2021 by Executive Director Resources, Executive Director Environment, Transport & Infrastructure

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Communities

Lead director:

Contact: Alan Bowley, Interim Head of Environment - Place Develolpment Email: alan.bowley@surreycc.gov.uk.

Consultees

Surrey Wildlife Trust, District and Borough  councils, National Trust, Forestry Commission, RSPB, Woodland Trust, landowners or the Access Agreement areas

Public consultation

Decisions

Agenda items