Save Southwark Woods

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Southwark buries cemetery plans over Christmas – again!

21 January 2016

Southwark APPLIES OVER CHRISTMAS to cut woods in Camberwell Cemeteries.

FIVE applications made ON DECEMBER 24TH – Cemetery Stakeholders Group NOT NOTIFIED about additional plans for first phase of LARGEST cemetery works in UK history.

Plans include cutting down dozens of trees on BEAUTIFUL ONE TREE HILL, DRIVING A ROAD up the hill, and MOUNDING OVER 48,000 graves.

Council pulled SAME STUNT last year. Twice bitten.

NO NOTIFICATION to residents. Did Council EVEN MAKE legally required notifications to allow consultation to start?

Two applications were even decided BEFORE END OF CONSULTATION PERIOD!

Save Southwark Woods CALLS PUBLIC MEETING – if Southwark Council won’t consult the public, they will.


Save Southwark Woods has just learned that Southwark Council made FIVE different applications December 24th for its massive and massively unpopular burial plans – proving that it is possible to bury bad news.

Southwark wants to dig up or mound over every grave over 75 years old in the 100 acres of the cemeteries in the southern part of the borough. This would be the largest mass excavation or mounding over of graves in UK history.

It’s January 2015 all over again. This time last year Southwark used the same shameful tactics to try to bury the announcement of their plans with a sham consultation over Christmas, leading to a public outcry, and the formation of the Save Southwark Woods campaign.

Only this time, they have tried to bury not a sham consultation but actual planning applications – which legally require a formal public consultation period.

And this time, Southwark is answerable to the Cemetery Stakeholder Group – A GROUP THE COUNCIL ITSELF SET UP. But it failed to even notify them of its applications.

It would appear the Council has failed to post a notice at the Cemetery gates. Nor notify the Southwark Council Cemetery Stakeholders Group. Nor put any notice in Southwark News. If this is true, then the public consultation relating to these applications has not formally started as no notice has been given to the public.

These plans are the first phase of the largest mass excavation and mounding over of graves in UK history. One application concerns mounding over 48,000 pauper’s graves in Camberwell Old Cemetery. Another involves driving a road up historic One Tree Hill and cutting down dozens of trees, including almost a dozen oaks.

Standing room only at the packed Public Meeting
Standing room only at the packed Public Meeting 8th February 2015. This time, Save Southwark Woods will call one if Southwark Council won’t.

Save Southwark Woods is demanding a Public Meeting – and if Southwark Council doesn’t call it they will. A meeting with the public where our local councillors can defend their actions.

“We only found out about the applications by accident searching for other applications. There has been no notice at the Cemetery gates, nor any in the Southwark News,” said Blanche Cameron, spokesperson of Save Southwark Woods.”

“Southwark Council Leader Peter John, ‘burial’ Councillor Darren Merrill, and local ward Councillors Gavin Edwards and Victoria Mills knew about this months ago and didn’t disclose it despite repeated requests. They’re untrustworthy and not fit for public office.”

Save Southwark Woods is campaigning to let the Camberwell Cemeteries return to nature – as Highgate and Nunhead Cemeteries have. We feel the best way to preserve family memories, the social history, and natural heritage is by allowing it to given room to breathe.