A new year begins for the Camberwell Cemeteries - and Southwark Council continue ignoring residents and the democratic process.
Southwark's chainsaws soon on One Tree Hill - if the Church gives permission.
Southwark Councillors are waiting with baited breath for the Diocese of Southwark to give them the green light to fell up to 60 trees in The Glade on One Tree Hill - for less than nine months' burial plots. On an impossibly steep one-in-five slope.
Councillor Ian Wingfield, in charge of burial policy, is still denying to Friends of the Earth that The Glade (Area D1) is on One Tree Hill at all – yet the view from there goes all the way to the City (even Hampstead Heath on a good day).
When is a historic, landmark hill not a historic, landmark hill? When it is in Southwark.
Against public consultation, Southwark are to apply this month to dig up 3 more acres of Honor Oak Park green space for burial plots
Southwark Councillors have decided to ignore the results of their own six month consultation that said 76% of residents don't want any burial at all on this three acre site.
In two separate consultation stages, residents responded that The Old Nursery site should be used for wide community benefit, woodland, a park or playing fields, not burial. But if it must be used for burial then it should be creation of woodland burial to maximise nature and community benefit, not just sterile burial plots.
However, Southwark has now decided to ignore residents' responses as 'there is no demand for woodland burial' and choose Opton 2, standard sterile burial plots with conventional headstones, crammed in cheek by jowl.
Democracy isn't even skin deep in Southwark.
Southwark Council intends to apply to the public for permission (through the planning application process) this month. There will be a statutory consultation period of the public - permission could and should be refused. We will post more on this when the application is made.
Next, Southwark's horrific end goal - digging up thousands of people's remains to sell off their graves as 'new' burial plots
Although digging up all the old graves was agreed by Southwark Cabinet in 2012, Councillors still deny they are committed to it. This is because they have not consulted families and know that digging up people's relatives and friends to resell their graves as 'new' burial plots is horrific and must not be allowed.
Southwark is planning ‘the reuse of graves’ on an industrial scale on a rolling programme - digging up thousands of graves, to sell new temporary leases, to be dug up again and resold. No more RIP in Southwark.
This is the test case for cemeteries up and down the country.
Thousands of people's remains are to be dug up. A 'consultation' is apparently coming on this soon.
Next FOCC SSW meeting Tuesday 10th January
Our next meeting is 7.30pm Tuesday 10th January in the back of the Herne Tavern, 2 Forest Hill Road SE22 0RR. All very welcome.
We are fighting to save the Camberwell Cemeteries as Memorial Park Nature Reserves, with respect for the dead and woods, allotments, playing fields and green spaces for the living. Once it's gone it's gone.
The petition to keep sharing is here:
Thanks as ever for all your support, there are lots of people fighting this fight - in Southwark and across the UK.
Here's to another year, fighting to protect nature and history for the benefit of now and generations to come.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Skull and bones at an open grave, Camberwell Old Cemetery May 2008 - South London Press. Southwark wants to exhume thousands of people's remains to resell for 'new' burial plots.
The beautiful Old Nursery site, Camberwell New Cemetery, Site of Importance for Nature Conservation: hedgehogs, bats, butterflies, owls and more. Another 3 acres to be dug up for sterile burial plots and headstones as 'there is no demand for woodland burial'.
Rows of sterile burial to replace nature, against resident consultation results.
The view from The Glade, Area D1 in Camberwell New Cemetery, on One Tree Hill - when is a hill not a hill? When it is in Southwark.