Workmen appear to be cleaning up a former tobacco machine factory site without the knowledge of the council.

Bucks Council said it was ‘not aware of any development’ at the former Molins Tobacco Machinery site on Haw Lane in Saunderton – although workers were pictured there today (June 1).

It is understood that the workforce has been there for several days this week.

Diggers, trucks and men wearing hi-vis jackets were seen working at the site surrounded by construction fencing, although it is unclear who is employing them and why.

If planning breaches are reported, the council’s enforcement team will investigate, he said.

It is not the first time that machines have been on site to clean up the area.

In December last year, TMT Construction workers were seen at the site with grapples and trucks.

At the time, UK investment firm Greystoke (and ERLP) submitted a development application for part of the site, with plans to demolish and clean up the existing industrial buildings (2,245m²) for redevelopment residential of up to nine new houses.

This same request was withdrawn in February.

The former cigarette machine maker’s site has been in shambles for years.

Most of the industrial buildings were removed as part of planning permission for a 78,000m² data center, which was never built.

A planning application for the demolition of all remaining buildings and the construction of 212 properties failed in 2015. A subsequent appeal was rejected in 2017.

In 2020, developer St. Congar also revealed that it planned to introduce an app for 130 homes.

“The council is not aware of any development being undertaken at the Molins plant site,” a council spokesman said. “If potential planning control breaches are reported to the council, the Planning Compliance and Enforcement team will investigate.”

Greystoke was approached for comment.

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