Plans to overhaul part of a former tobacco machine factory site for houses are being considered – but clearance of the area by workmen is already underway.

Greystoke and ERLP have submitted to Bucks Council an outline planning application for part of the former Molins Tobacco Machinery site on Haw Lane in Saunderton.

Plans outline the demolition and clearance of the existing industrial buildings (2,245 sqm) to allow for a residential redevelopment of up to nine new market houses, “predominantly two storeys in height or no greater than the existing buildings”.

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Vehicle access off Haw Lane, internal roads, a public open space, and parking is also planned.

A planning application states no work has been started without permission – however, a workman from Cheshire for TMT Construction confirmed they had been hired to clear the site when asked what they were doing.

According to the planning portal, the applicants are still awaiting a decision by the council about the application.

Bucks Council is also listed as owner of the site.

Bucks Free Press:

The now cleared factory site, photographed on Dec 13

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According to its website, Greystoke is a UK investment business specialising in land use planning. “Our purpose is to increase the value of land by optimising its permitted use,” it states.

The more than 50-acre site of the former cigarette making machine manufacturer currently lies in ruin.

The majority of the industrial buildings were removed as part of planning consent for a 78,000 sqm data centre, which was never built.

All that remains are some rundown offices facing Haw Lane.

Bucks Free Press:

Construction vehicles on site, photographed on Dec 13

Bucks Free Press:

New site plans

A planning application for the demolition of all remaining buildings and construction of 212 properties was unsuccessful in 2015.

A subsequent appeal on the matter was dismissed in 2017.

Last year, developer St. Congar also revealed it had planned to bring an application for 130 homes.

The site also contains a designated heritage asset, ‘Bowl Barrow’ cemetery.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said: “Clearing a site of vegetation or debris does not require any form of planning approval and is at the discretion of the landowner. The planning application for this site is currently under consideration and a decision will be given in due course.”

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