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HOP Recreation Ground to Become a Cemetery?
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GreenGrass


Posts: 21
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #181
16-01-2015 02:21 PM

Referring to Bumble's and Tincan's posts - yes - there are so many issues which seem to have not been thought through.

Another is access for allotment holders for instance:
with the new plans, the current drive will be primarily for Southwark work vehicles into the yard (?and presumably access into the graveyard which I can't see on the blurry plans).
So presumably, the allotment will be able to have deliveries and plot holders be able to drop off heavy items down this drive, but I cannot see where they will be able to turn unless it's in the Southwark yard! Have I missed something? If not, it means allotment holders won't be able to park in the drive so will then have to park or re park in the 'new' car park and then walk back.
Any allotment holders want to comment?
Or anyone from Southwark Council who can enlighten us on all the above issues?
Why wait for the meeting!?

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #182
16-01-2015 09:56 PM

Quote:
Well said tincan - especially the last bit about our bit of Honor Oak being left out of the Crofton Park/Honor Oak Park neighbourhood forum, which could have supported a strong case against these plans.


Well said indeed. The politicians behind the forum did not want to engage with their Southwark counterparts and this is the result.

There are many aspects of this that concern me. One is access through the green space that is the Rec and Cemetary combined. I quite often go from Crofton Park or Peckham Rye through to Honor Oak Park as this is a lovely green route. It is also a family friendly way of cycling down to Peckham Rye Park that avoids having to negotiate One Tree Hill. It is far from clear whether this will be possible any more and tincan's comments re the width of the new path are very pertinent here.

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Bordertrthebest


Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2015
Post: #183
17-01-2015 03:37 PM

I think the whole plan is nonsense , they must have money to burn instead of bodies ! When you live in a city in the 21st century , with population numbers growing as fast as they are it is almost medieval that we still think land burials are an option . This green space is sacred for the living not the dying , I use this green space daily and see numerous members of the community using it either as a short cut to honor oak , or dog walking , playing footy etc to start inhibiting people's access especially from the southwark side is selfish beyond belief . There is a 5 mph speed limit within the cemetery , so I cannot see where the health and safety argument comes from , unless of course you are extremely short sighted ! to also fell trees that are perfectly healthy must also be wreckless beyond belief . It makes me so angry that the community are still having to fight access to what should be every local residents right . I hope this does not happen

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roggie


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013
Post: #184
23-01-2015 11:59 AM

All the details (loads of reports) are available at:-

http://www.southwark.gov.uk/downloads/do...cemeteries

We walk our dog there almost every day... and live in Crofton Park, sorry about the barking ;-) We always access from Brenchley Gardens either via the small footpath or the crematorium road. Must read all this to see what it means. BTW its a very popular cycle route as it avoids One Tree Hill and is a very nice route.

I'm sure if you take it up with local councillors they will raise with colleagues in Southwark - can't see the boundary of the new group being a major issue.

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greensleeves


Posts: 10
Joined: May 2014
Post: #185
28-01-2015 09:13 AM

Quote:
Southwark Council is planning to destroy the woods of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries, including felling over 30 mature trees, to make way for more than 2,000 new burial plots. Woodlands are the lungs of London. We want the cemeteries turned into local Nature Reserves, as with Nunhead Cemetery. Both cemeteries are part of the London Green Chain Walk and Camberwell Old Cemetery is a Grade 1 Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation. These wonderful woodlands are home to protected species, a wild tangle of trees and undergrowth, a haven of habitats and they are valuable to nature, to people and to the future.

These woodlands provide many valuable benefits locally, cleaning the air, absorbing and filtering storm water, keeping the neighbourhood cool in summer, and providing beautiful, natural places for our mental and physical well-being.

Sign the petition and help Save Southwark Woods!

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/s...wark-woods

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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #186
28-01-2015 07:19 PM

This is a terrible shame but I am not sure if you are aware clearing has already started at the back of Camberwell New Cemetery ( alongside the railings of One Tree Hill). Also work has started on the Lodge by the cemetery gates ( which will become the new office) where the lovely garden, full of wildlife,trees and interesting plants is being cleared to make way for a staff carpark!

However regarding public access, it seems as if Southwark are listening and they have said although not clear on the plans, there will be a entrance for those accessing the park Brenchley Gardens side. Therefore it is important anyone with concerns contacts Southwark to make sure their views get heard. This can be done either by attending the upcoming meeting or by contacting the Southwark Councillor for Environent and Recycling direct by emailing darren.merrill@southwark.gov.uk

This is definitely the time to be raising any concerns especially people with allotments who will be affected by the new cemetery plans otherwise we are in real danger of loosing access which is valuable to us all!

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #187
29-01-2015 10:15 AM

Yes I saw that near Brenchley Gardens on Wednesday. Very sad. I suppose at least they are not doing it in spring with nesting birds.

I wonder if they have brought it forward from the autumn because they have realised the public opposition to it.

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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #188
29-01-2015 07:21 PM

Yes I don't know if you have noticed the small sign on the boarding outside the lodge which has been painted black either out of respect or to hide the true horrors of what is happening behind!!!!!!
The sign assures us great care and attention is being taken concerning the building works to the listed lodge but it is a shame this care and attention does not extend to the building works taking place to the garden!

All previous occupants of the lodge have had no trouble parking their cars using the dedicated space in front of the lodge and apart from the small dottering of cars outside the church office, I have never noticed a great demand for a staff carpark.
Therefore it is a shame they have taken the decision to widen the side entrance of the lodge so it wil be accessible for cars by removing well established, healthy trees. I don't know who makes these decisions but please do not put up a sign telling us how respectful you are being when quite the opposite is true!!!

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #189
11-02-2015 06:08 PM

Consultation is tonight, Honor Oak Baptist Church, Forest Hill Road SE22 0SG from 7-8.30pm:
http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200032/...cemeteries

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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #190
12-02-2015 07:16 PM

What a wonderful turnout at the meeting last night and just shows how much we all care about our valuable green space.
However if you could not attend the meeting and/or did not get the chance to ask a question, please email darren.merrill@southwark.gov.uk (Southwark Councillor for Environment & Recycling) regarding access and environmental issues.

He stated last night he wishes to hear from all residents ( Southwark and Lewisham) and all views will be noted for the upcoming consultation now being planned.

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #191
15-02-2015 07:21 PM

Update from Save Southwark Woods for those not following on Facebook/Twitter.

At the Public Meeting, the council gave residents until Friday 20th February, a typically short period to make comments on their brutal, destructive and short-term proposals. Here are the people to write to, it can be in one email/letter and you can be as specific or as general as you wish, but has to be with them by Friday 20th.

The people to write to are:

Officers:
simon.bevan@southwark.gov.uk Simon Bevan, Head of Planning
Rebecca.towers@southwark.gov.uk Rebecca Towers, Parks & Open Spaces Manager
Des.Waters@southwark.gov.uk Des Waters, Head of Public Realm

Copy in Councillors:
Darren.merrill@southwark.gov.uk Cllr Darren Merrill
Victoria.Mills@southwark.gov.uk Clly Victoria Mills
Renata.Hamvas@southwark.gov.uk Cllr Renata Hamvas

And please copy us in too!
southwarkwoods@gmail.com

The main points Save Southwark Woods is calling for are:
• For these woodlands, wooded areas and greenspaces to be protected and managed for nature and people - no new burials
• For both cemeteries to be declared the Local Nature Reserves they really are, and managed as Nunhead Cemetery is
• That years of illegal fly tipping under the council’s watch should not be the excuse used for a massive redevelopment not just of Area Z but across the whole of these magical woods, with sanitised landscaping and THOUSANDS of burial plots instead of woodland at the end of it
• A full Public Consultation 2015/2016 on these brutal and destructive proposals, denied to the public with a toothless public information exercise instead
If you wish to express support for the SSW campaign too, that would be great but the main thing is to make your comments known. The council has tried to get this through without anyone realising what was happening. Tell them they can't pull the wool over residents' eyes like this.

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GreenGrass


Posts: 21
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #192
01-04-2015 11:01 AM

Read this article from Southwark News?
So Southwark Council having thoughts of playing off one part of the community against another?!
It won't work!

"The council’s burial strategy, put together following the consultation, says if their plans to create new graves don’t go ahead, they will have to look again at using an area of Honor Oak park, a proposal which received significant public opposition in 2012."

Whole thing:
http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/a-gr...ce-crisis/

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152047


Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #193
01-04-2015 12:35 PM

This quote appears in the article:

For Cllr Merrill this issue is personal. When his grandma died when his father was just six years old, she was buried in Camberwell New Cemetery. “My father always said it was nice to know she was close by,” said Cllr Merrill, who believes the new graves would not just be for the dead, but for the living “left behind.”

I seem to remember Cllr Barrie Hargrove trotting out something similar when he was taking the recreation ground for burial.

At least if Southwark are talking about taking more of the recreation ground you can tell they are a bit rattled. As someone famously said last time round "over my dead body".

Can I ask if our local councillors are in favour of Southwark's plans and if they would be happy to see the rest of the recreation ground taking for burials?

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languagelounger


Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #194
10-05-2015 11:39 PM

Southwark Council surely isn't going to fall back into the hash they make of this in the1990s?

In 1991, they decided to be the only Council in the country (and probably the world) prepared to turn a city park into a graveyard.

They took 5 acres of Honor Oak Rec for burials, but stepped away from trying to take the rest of the Rec, and sell off adjoining land for development, in the face of huge protests. (After Friends of Honor Oak Recreation Ground was formed in 1992).

No other council in the country then, or now, would even consider turning a current urban park into a graveyard. And Honor Oak Rec is a massively well-used park. 't's right next to a high density Council estate, christened Tenement Town. Honor Oak Rec was chock even before it lost 5 acres.

The national body for cemetery management held a special session in 1997 (eighteen - 18 - years ago) to debate the situation in Southwark. This professional body offered its expertise to help resolve the so-called "burial crisis". The clear and universal response from these experts was that councils who want to carry on offering burial should reuse their existing grave spaces after a practical lapse of time.

This practice, to keep reusing the existing cemetery space, happens in cities all over the world and has done for hundreds of years.

Southwark has 100 acres of cemetery land, formed of Nunhead, Camberwell Old and Camberwell New. They have expert advice freely available to help them continue to use these cemeteries - if they decide to carry on offering burials within the borough. (Councils can choose to offer only cremation, cemeteries are hugely expensive to run, and fewer than one in five people opt for buriall). Why on earth are they talking about turning a heavily used 11 acre public park into a new cemetery, while refusing to use a whole 100 acres of existing cemeteries for burial?

Especially as there have been at least 8 or 9 "public consultations" on exactly the same issue since 1991. In 2001 I added up the Council's own figures on the cost of all those exercises to date, and it came to over £200,000. Two hundred thousand pounds. Spent on repeating the same information, and getting the same answers, over and over. By now, it must be, what, half a million pounds?

In 2012 the Council seemed to have heeded expert advice and to have come up with a well developed plan to make use of the existing Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries.

Southwark must know that if it goes back on this, it will only be because it is now giving in to pressure from the small but noisy group who want the cemeteries closed down and turned into a "hundred acre wood". The origin of the "hundred acre wood" is in the early 1990s when some ambitious individual at the London Wildlife invented the idea. The idea being that all three cemeteries, all this public space, would be taken out of public ownership and run by....the London Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve. Give them their due, the LWT enthusiasts are very good at public relations, and growing empires. But we all know that public relations is more concerned with image than reality. A huge amount of nonsense has been pushed at the public about the cemetery spaces. Their are petitions and posters all over the borough, claiming that the cemeteries are "ancient woodland". No they aren't - as a moment's thought or a minute Googling shows. They were all open land, laid out as cemeteries within the last 140 years. Trees grew up in Nunhead in my generation after the private cemetery company that owned it went bust. A lot of them were sycamores. Until very recently, huge parts of Nunhead were home to Japanese Knotweed and wild Rhododendron. Not ancient, not native. Large parts of Camberwell Old Cemetery have only become overgrown in the past 20 years.

Southwark must know that there is no policy or financial justification for backtracking and giving in to this PR campaign.

Does anyone know if we can call for a public enquiry into the hopeless waste of public funds and undermining of local democracy that has now been going on....and on..... and on.....for over 25 years?

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152047


Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #195
11-05-2015 07:55 PM

Lots of good points Languagelounger.

We do have a debate between competing local interests. Those in favour of giving people the option of burial and those who prefer the land to be used for amenity space of the wildlife sort.

However, I don't think the land use history of the Camberwell Old Cemetery is too relevant. Land in the London area, if left unattended, will first revert to scrub and then broadleaved woodland and these environments do have great biodiversity value.

You only have to see what the Councils have been doing to local parks to see this is the case. Gone is the approach of clearing away all dead wood and always close cutting the grass. Now we see log piles and areas of long grass. Check out Peckham Rye and Burgess Park.

Neglect is often the best way of preserving the environment. Incidentally, in my recent walk around Camberwell Old Cemetery I didn't see any knot weed or rhododendrons. The point is perhaps that once you allow a piece of land to become neglected then after a while you probably need to start managing it to maintain the maximum biodiversity value, just as they do at Devonshire Road Nature Reserve and other urban reserves.

Yes, the LWT can be a bit pushy but I do feel that many local people genuinely wish to preserve these sites for more altruistic reasons. Stag beetles and woodpeckers or plastic flowers and green glass chippings? Its the wildlife for me.

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henryb2


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #196
21-05-2015 02:54 PM

Southwark are cynically creating a false dichotomy between the park and the wood to try to split local opinion. In reality there are many solutions that mean both can be saved.

The real problem here is private lawn burials is an incredibly wasteful use of green space land. It really is not suited of inner cities. Yes the grieving processes is very painful but the reality is most graves are not visited again after a few months. The problem is that after that period the land will locked out and cannot be used for any other purpose for the next 75 years - that would be 2090 for a new lawn burial area created now. Even then reuse is difficult and costly. It will essentially be unused dead land and in a city with the space constraints that London has - that really isn’t acceptable.

Cemeteries have always been on the edge of towns and cities as they have never been that high a priority. That is why these cemeteries are where they are, however, they are no longer on the edge of the city but quite close in and the demand for other use such a recreation and nature must take priority. It is perfectly reasonable to expect people who want a lawn burial to go a bit further out of town to get one. Also there other burial options that are not so excessive in land usage and could provide other utility.

Regarding the SSW campaign - everyone I know involved is against using the rec as burials as much they are against using the woods. It would be counter to everything the campaign is fighting for. If they are successful the rec will be saved forever. The petition against these plans now has over 7000 signatures.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #197
22-05-2015 01:18 PM

Well put henryb2!

Southwark have been at best disingenuous over this. They even tried to pass the latest plans under the radar over Christmas. It is high time London councils grasped the nettle of burial space and this campaign could force just that. It could even secure the future of the Rec which will only get progressively nibbled away at otherwise. The biodiversity these green areas provide are a huge part of the draw for living here IMO and chopping down mature oaks is very damaging in this respect. Sign the petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/s...wark-woods

There is a Family Tree day on Monday if you want to find out more:
http://www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/fam...4589384029

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