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Southwark's Burial Strategy: Digging up thousands of graves for resale at Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries

Clearing all gravestones, woods and nature in the way

Southwark's 'Sustainable' Cemeteries Strategy

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Camberwell New Cemetery

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Camberwell Old Cemetery

Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries are full.

 

In 2012, Southwark Council passed a plan to clear acres of inner city woods to mound over or dig up tens of thousands of graves in the Camberwell Cemeteries to sell 'new' burial plots over the dead.

 

There are over 300 war graves in Camberwell Old Cemetery aone - yet Southwark did not consult the Commonwealth War Graves Commission until late in 2016 - a year after giving themselves planning permission for Area Z and D1 and three years after developing Area F/F1 for 'new' burial plots over tens of thousands of graves.

 

 

WOODVALE, CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY (AREA F) 2013:

 

Southwark applied for planning permission for this development in 2012 before the 2001-2012 burial consultation had finished. Southwark removed a hedgerow, trees and meadow to mound over thousands of public graves to sell 'new' burial plots over their remains. These minimum standard plots are crammed in cheek by jowl and become waterlogged in any heavy rainfall. There is no visual protection from the road or houses overlooking, or space between graves for mourners to grieve in privacy.

 

 

Southwark Council's development plans affect most areas of both cemeteries:

 

Camberwell Old Cemetery

 

2011: Area E - next to Forest Hill Road entrance gates

2012: Area F/F1 - along Woodvale

2015: Area Z - the north-west corner

Area G

Area H1 - Meadow to north-west

Areas H2 + H3

Area I

Areas J, K and L - the woodland glades

Area R

Area T

 

 

Camberwell New Cemetery

 

Area B

Area D1

Area D2

 

 

 

Redevelopment of Grade 1 SINC woodland (so-called Area Z) for 800 burial private plots, many trees to go

Grade 1 SINC woodland (so-called Areas J,K and L) to be entirely redeveloped with hundreds of trees to be felled, old graves excavated and paupers' graves buried over

Redevelopment of The OldNursery site (so-called Area B) once promised by Southwark for community sports or recreation space

Virgin woodland and meadow on the wooded hill slope of One Tree Hill (so-called Areas D1 and D2) to be developed with 60 trees to be felled including 20 sessile oaks

Spending upwards of £5.2M destroying acres of beautiful woods and thousands of old graves for 4 years' burial provision that will not be accessible to all faiths. The community has proposed healthier, cheaper, fairer solutions that the council is ignoring, Please object.

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In October 2015, Southwark gave itself planning permission for the next two areas of the Cemetery Strategy.  

 

AREA Z : 2 ACRES OF GRADE 1 SINC WOODS,  CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY

 

In February 2016, Southwark Council clear felled 2 acres of woods, hundreds of trees, in this Grade 1 SINC, destroying nature, beauty, habitats, and reducing flood protection.

 

This is so as to excavate 12,000 tonnes of soil and rubble to build 740 'new' burial plots over 48,000 public graves and 6 areas of Commonwealth War Graves.

 

Council's estimated cost of over £1.2M is an unrevised 2011 figure, a subsidy of £1,600 per plot - more than they sell for.

 

At least one grave has been desecrated by works vehicles already driving over it via site access on Langton Rise for the tree felling. The excavation of thousands of tonnes of soil and rubble requires up to 50 lorry journeys per day.

 

 

CAMBERWELL NEW CEMETERY, ONE TREE HILL (AREA D1): 0.5 ACRES OF VIRGIN WOODLAND GRADE 2 SINC ON HISTORIC ONE TREE HILL, NEXT TO THE NATURE RESERVE:

 

Southwark Council has given itself permission to fell up to 60 native broadleaf woodland trees across half an acre of virgin woodland on historic One Tree Hill, for less than 9 months of burial. This is a steeply sloping 1:7 gradient clay hillside which the Council accepts discriminates against pedestrian access for the elderly and infirm. So they admitted in the Planning Committee October 2015 this is why they are building a road up the historic landmark hillside.

 

 

THE DIOCESE OF SOUTHWARK

 

As much of the land is consecrated, Southwark Council was supposed to ask the Church of England forpermission to cut down hundreds of trees and mound over graves,

 

The Diocese of Southwark received over 800 objections to the Council's plans so are holding a hearing into their applications some time in mid 2016.

 

So Southwark Council just went ahead anyway and have clear felled two acres of woodland in a Site of Impostance for Nature Conservation without Church permission.

 

So much for consultation. So much for legal due process.

So much for a so-called 'sustainable' Cemeteries Strategy.  

Southwark's Cemeteries Strategy