|Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2007 - 01:26 pm: |
What is going on in that spot between the train station and the allotments, backing onto the Rec?
When I first moved into the area 15 years ago there where some disused buildings, with school stuff inside - I heard that it was an abandoned police trainging camp...is that true?
Going back before that I have dug up a picture of the site from 1965 -
...it seems to show some large glasshouses which, according to the link, were part of Lewisham Parks Dept. horticultural depot - not sure the purpose of this - to grow plants to plant around Lewisham?
Can anyone provide a good history of the site, and does anyone know what is happening with the site at present and into the future?
|Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2007 - 01:50 pm: |
I think it's future is an extension of the cemetery.
7 or 8 years ago Southwark Council went through a public consultation process about it's use but, despite lots of good ideas, they ended up extending the cemetery. They can make a lot of money from a cemetery but it is very short term as it seems to be filling up fast!
I think another issue is boundary politics - the consultation meetings I went to were mainly attended by Lewisham residents. Not so interesting for Southwark Council....
|Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2007 - 01:52 pm: |
of course I meant its and not it's
|Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2007 - 02:43 pm: |
What were the other suggestions for the land at the meeting Julie?
(I wouldnt worry about the ' - even though I know better I still write "CD's"!)
|Posted on Thursday, 24 May, 2007 - 08:33 am: |
Lillam, I found this on the House of Commons website, link below.
LONG TERM PLANNING FOR CEMETERIES
The Cemeteries Department has been allocated 6.5 acres of land previously used as a garden nursery. There is 1.5 acres of ground that can be used almost immediately, following under growth clearance. There are hard standing areas, which with investment could be used as above ground vaults, or vaults for the preservation of cremated remains. With the allocation of this nursery site it is anticipated that there would be no need to reclaim further ground used for recreational purposes. While the nursery site is being used, ground previously used for un purchased graves is being made up to a depth of two metres and will after consolidation of the soil be re-used for interments. Also with the allocation of the nursery site it is anticipated that there will be sufficient land for burial land within Southwark for the next 30 years.
Going back to the meetings a few years ago I seem to remember a big issue was that the recreation ground was under threat for conversion to cemetery. Southwark consulted on the use of the nursery site but in the end "saved" the recreation ground by using the nursery site instead. I got the impression afterwards that maybe this was always going to happen but for political reasons it went round in circles to get there.
I am trying to remember what the other suggestions were but all I can recall is various ideas around a garden. It was felt that the recreation ground was great for dog walkers, childrens play area, sports, football pitches etc but what was missing was some sort of formal garden. Maybe even with a cafe.
Somewhere I have notes from the meetings but I can't put my hands on them at the moment. So I might not have remembered all of this correctly!
|Posted on Thursday, 24 May, 2007 - 11:14 am: |
I was at one of the meetings and remember there was a woman representative from Neal's Yard who wanted to grow lavender fields for their herbal preparations but the idea was rejected as would cause too much traffic locally.
|Posted on Thursday, 24 May, 2007 - 02:54 pm: |
From 1963 - 1965, when I was in the juniors at Fairlawn Primary School, we used to attend the playing fields at the back of this site to participate in school games. Football, Cricket Rounders etc. Parents used to attend as well.
|Posted on Tuesday, 29 May, 2007 - 01:23 pm: |
Why does this land belong to Southwark considering the neighbouring land is part of Lewisham? It may just be me, but as the sports field becomes more visibly surrounded by graves, I anticipate that these bleak views will drive users away. As a result, it will become under-used and Southwark council will announce that the cemetery will be extended into the sports field and defend the decision on the basis that no-one is using it. Therefore we need to make it more user-friendly. Is there a way that we can encourage Lewisham to encourage/work with Southwark to shield the sports field with trees/shrubery so that you aren't constantly looking at graves when you are having an enjoyable healthy time? Also, the sports field needs changing rooms, football pitches and the sign needs to be reinstalled to tell people what it is!
|Posted on Tuesday, 29 May, 2007 - 01:46 pm: |
Lewisham owns land in Bromley!
|Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007 - 07:09 am: |
Great post Lola, I couldnt agree more - I get the feeling that by surrounding the sports ground with graves use will go down and one day soon they will get what they wanted all along - to sell of the land to the cemetry.
Access to the site could be changed from that anonymous path into somethign ab it more welcoming, and as you say trees could be planted to seperate the areas. Also, if you are in mourning you dont want to be dodging footballs.
I wonder if HOPRA or the FH Society might bring this up - before its too late.
|Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007 - 07:40 am: |
The Forest Hill Society can certainly discuss the matter at our next committee meeting.
|Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007 - 12:50 pm: |
I think the fundamental point here is that it's hard to justify keeping something if it's not being used. Hence, to prevent the cemetery extending further you need to ensure that the local public and schools etc are aware of the existance of the sports field so that it may be fully utilised. Indeed, future events might be posted on this site. So it seems to me that a campaign to promote awareness would be a good starting point. Consequently, signage at the entrance is most important, especially if you consider the volume of traffic (both cars and pedestrians) that passes by the entrance.
|Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007 - 01:37 pm: |
To be fair I think that the land was originally bought by Southwark Council for burials but that was a very long time ago. As Bigjulie and Evanick say Southwark ran a local consulation exercise a few years ago and lots of really good ideas were put forward for preserving and enhancing the site as public open space. Some of the proposals involved conversion of the former nursery site to parkland which would have really transformed the whole site and the approach from Honor Oak Park.
So how did we end up with the nursery site converted into cemetery? Well, after a number of meetings it was revealed that soil on the nursery site was contaminated and that it would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to make it safe for public access. We were then told that the funds weren't available for the clear up required. The land to the North and West of Honor Oak station used to be the site of a firework factory which may have caused the contamination. However, from looking at an old photo it looks like the firework factory site also ran across the site of the current tennis courts and so presumably that land is also contaminated.
In any event the contamination issue made it very easy for Southwark to take the nursery site for burials and claim that this was good news as it would leave the centre of the site untouched. Unfortunately, the future of this site is blighted by the fact that it is owned by Southwark but mainly used by residents from Lewisham.
As for the suggestion that the nursery site will provide sufficient burial space for the next 30 years you only have to see how quickly the site is filling up to realise that is not realistic. I would guess that the remaining open space will be under threat from conversion to cemetery within 15 years.
|Posted on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007 - 02:51 pm: |
If the land is contaminated it is likely to be unsafe for the gravediggers.
|Posted on Friday, 01 June, 2007 - 01:01 pm: |
And for the ground to be used as a cemetery, wouldn't it also have to be consecrated? Please excuse my ignorance in these matters, but is it acceptable for ground that is known to be contaminated to be consecrated? (I suppose it might be since the fallen may be buried in battlefield graves when the ground is still highly contaminated with live ammunition) Does anyone know if there are rules/guidelines regarding what may/may not be consecrated?
|Posted on Tuesday, 12 June, 2007 - 05:03 pm: |
Thanks for the info Woody. Whilst I am all in favour of people having the right to buried rather than cremated, I think green space for the living to relax and exercise in should be prioritised. As for contaminated land, I think the value of green spaces is already starting to exceed the cost of de-contamination. However I have a feeling that I am trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. I remember reading an article last year that Lewisham plans to put playing fields up in Blythe Fields. Maybe it already has done so? I remember thinking it was odd to put playing fields at Blythe Fields considering there was playing fields beside HOP station. Was this decision connected with the encroaching graveyards of Southwark?
|Posted on Tuesday, 12 June, 2007 - 08:07 pm: |
Cemeteries can be used as green playing fields fifty years after the last burial (I think). So the land need not be lost forever.
|Posted on Tuesday, 12 June, 2007 - 09:20 pm: |
It is perhaps ironic that if we want to preserve London's remaining open spaces for future generations their last and best hope is that they be used for burials.
The remaining open spaces which are not protected (in plannning speak) as metropolitan open land or sites of special conservation interest are all vulnerable to opportunistic private development usually on the grounds that (in planning speak) they are classed as brownfield land.
You only have to look at the Tyson Road site to see how an ancient and beautiful relic of England's green and pleasant land is given absolutely no protection by current planning laws simply because it has at some stage been used as a garden. If it was turned into a cemetery at least it would remain as open space and could one day be returned to public access.
|Posted on Wednesday, 13 June, 2007 - 04:22 pm: |
You can build on a former cemetery as well!