Deforesting and Developing Camberwell New Cemetery / One Tree Hill

Southwark Council are consulting on developing the Old Nursery on Honor Oak Park:

So yet more burial space on the cards. How much more do they need? I can think of a number of uses that would be much more beneficial to the local community.

There is an aerial view here:

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I guess until people stop dying, lots! I think we should try sky burials!


I think the point here is: at what point do you stop grabbing more land and re-use what is there? They previously wanted to bury in the Rec but that wasn’t popular and they have changed tack. I would contend that space, especially green space, in London should be put to use for the living in preference to yet more burial plots.


Brett, you are preaching to the converted. I agree with you. However there are a good few who dont and want somewhere to visit their loved ones. Depends on what side of the fence you sit on. Bones or houses, and easy choice for me.


The drop-in session re these plans is on today at Camberwell New Cemetery chapel.


Reminder: Southwark council’s public consultation ends 22nd July.

:clipboard: Take the Survey

It is worth bearing in mind that this area, along with the Rec, is Honor Oak Park. Would make a great site for a market garden IMO but regardless, unless robustly challenged, Southwark will continue to nibble away at this until there is none left. That would be a sad loss for future generations IMO.

Even if you buy the contentious idea that yet more burial space is needed, am struggling to see how public access is enhanced by this proposal. The current access from Honor Oak Park road remains the same, pedestrians, often with children, have to walk on the access road to gain entry and go through a car park to get to the Rec/Swings. There are also big drainage and biodiversity issues and no evidence has been supplied on how these are being addressed.

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I can see why people would want to bury their loved ones nearby so they can visit them, as @Londondrz said, but on the whole I totally agree with @Brett.

In a space-constrained city like London the living should take priority over the dead.

Would much prefer to see a market garden, more allotments, or some public park space there.


I don’t see why a compromise cannot be made where the dead are buried there but it is used as a park with headstones around the edge of the cemetery. Lots of cemeteries clear headstones to the side after a given period of time.

Not quite sure a lush and green burial site with a monument (head stone) should be a right or a privilege. In cities such as London where space is at a premium there should be consideration given to mandatory cremations, or if burial is still a need, stacked burial policies.


I want to be a tree when I go.

  • :+1: Agree with council proposals
  • Prefer Area B becomes green space with headstones around edges
  • Prefer Area B becomes allotment
  • Prefer Area B becomes park / market garden
  • Prefer Area B left untouched
  • Other (comment below)

0 voters

I think the space should be used to build social housing, the existing land is basically brown field site of mainly derelict concrete. there would be no loss of green space and the area could be easily connected to the recreation ground. this space should be for the living not the dead. We do not have the space in London to bury our dead in the way we do at the moment

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I am in agreement with views here but from what I read in the proposal, they are saying that with these changes and the changes at the old cemetery they solve the problem. All graves are now ‘leased’ so can be reused rather than staying there forever more. I didn’t get the sense that the rec / playground would be touched in the future.

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@fran am sorry but I do not share your optimistic view. Southwark cannot actually reuse any grave space at this site until they get an amendment to the law to allow this (that will need Lords time) so any “reuse” plan is dependent on this. A bit cart before horse. It would also cease to be a local resource for people to be buried in if this happens, rather a lease scheme for best profit London-wide. Very much a test case for what happens to burial sites across London.

The Rec is very much in the frame still as it has not been saved forever. Bear in mind also that they are planning to clear woodland on One Tree Hill too. Once they have used all of the non-Rec land they will have nowhere else locally to go. The council have promised to preserve the Rec before and reneged on this anyway.

I am keen to ensure the rec stays the rec as i use it pretty much every day. But i am always surprised how quiet it is and indeed i met a grandma at the swings the other day who had lived in HOP for 25 years and didn’t even know it was there. I wonder whether there is local interest to try to convince southwark to do something more with the space or indeed create a friends of HOP rec to breathe a bit more life into it. Would love to see the area with the tunnel cleaned up and used more.

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And i say this because it will be harder for southwark to turn it into graves if it is heavily used.

I find this incredibly frustrating. I feel like there are far too many cemeteries around here already. Sorry to play the millennial card, but this feels like one last jab from the baby boomers!

Live and let live?!

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Beautiful old trees that form the character of our area, and provide vital ecological and environmental benefits. To be replaced with graves?

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It is quite right to focus now on the person in the job, but for balance it is worth noting that the previous mayor, who commissioned reports that highlighted the environmental and economic benefits of trees for London, was equally nonchalant about these proposals. All mouth and no trousers - plus ça change.

The City Hall perspective seems to be that this is a local issue. A local issue all over London!

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