Future of Honeystreet Sawmill


Big changes have been proposed for the Honeystreet Sawmill, with a scheme to build up to 25 houses on the site along with offices, studios and a possible open space. The owner, John Dunford, is soon to retire, and states that it is not possible to find a buyer prepared to continue to run the operation as a timber yard. If that is so, the choice is to maintain the area in its current status, with some other “industrial” use taking over the site, or to permit a change of use to housing, plus a number of jobs.  

Last year, after consulting residents, the Parish Council embarked on a process known as a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO). The procedure, still relatively new, basically means that a proposal is developed in consultation with local residents and is then put to a local vote. If the vote is in favour, the plan goes ahead.  If not, it doesn’t. 

After almost a year of work, however, the NDO has run into serious problems. There was disagreement as to whether the final vote should be limited to Honeystreet (favoured by the village and by a unanimous vote of the Parish Council) or cover the whole parish, as Wiltshire Council demanded. Doubts arose as to whether an NDO would give local residents sufficient control over design and other key details of the scheme. There were questions as to whether proper effort had been made to market the sawmill as a going concern. Finally, Wiltshire Council, having initially encouraged the Parish Council to take the NDO route, suggested instead that a standard planning application might be a better option. For all these reasons, the Parish Council at its meeting on March 10 reluctantly but unanimously agreed to abandon the process.

It is now up to the site owner to decide whether he wishes to put in a planning application. Should that happen, the Parish Council will of course continue to monitor the situation closely. And consultation with local residents which has already begun will continue.

The NDO document links below no longer apply, but are retained for the record. 

NDO Steering Group - Committee minutes 

What is a Neighbourhood Development Order ?

Honeystreet Sawmill pre-application Meeting 28.05.15

Steering Group Terms of Reference

Sawmill Newsletter 1 January 2016 (to go with survey below)

Honeystreet sawmill site – Parish Survey January 2016

The vision statement below is required as part of the Neighbourhood Development Order process. Whilst setting out some principles for possible housing on the site, it must be stressed that the Parish Council remains neutral towards the project unless and until the wishes of local residents have been determined. 
Draft Vision Statement

Honeystreet NDO letter Sept 2015 & PC minutes

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