Deforesting and Developing Camberwell New Cemetery / One Tree Hill



Tomorrow, Thursday 15 June 2017 6:30 PM we will be at the Southwark Planning Meeting.They are ‘deciding’ the fate of the Old Nursery Site, next to the Honor Oak Park station on the Honor Oak Nature Corridor. We are fighting for our greenspace and sports fields.

And please do not think the rest of the Rec is safe. Or the Allotments. Or any other part of either of cemeteries from development of new burial plots.

Posted by someone we believe to be a Lewisham politician: “As I have already stated the rec was always designated for burial till such time it was required. If you want green space you’ll see SE22/SE23 are spoilt for the amount we have in comparison to other parts of inner London.”


Southwark has put up massive hoardings so you can’t go in, let alone look at it. You will have to take my word, and the photographs. It is beautiful and needs to be saved.

Meet outside Southwark Council
160 Tooley Street London SE1 2QH
Thursday, 15 June 6:30PM.

and aerial footage from last year, after they strimmed it, and this year.


Who is the ‘we’ that you are speaking for?
I think it is rather unlikely that the person on the other forum who you have insinuated must be a local politician, grave-digger, undertaker, or does not live locally is actually any of these. I suspect he/she is just a normal person who disagrees with you (and has disagreed with me on other topics). Do you have any evidence to the contrary - other than the fact that they do not hold the same opinion as you?

As the moderators of this forum would put it “Discuss the points not the people making them. No ad-hominems”


I agree Michael. I also think it very unlikely that a Lewisham politician would wade into a Southwark borough plan in this way. So far have had difficulty getting any of these to actually engage with the issue.


Why would a Lewisham resident want to lose sports fields and have local woods cut down for burial plots which are for Southwark residents? The motives behind opinions are valuable.

The Rec ground is not safe. And until we hear otherwise, Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries are not safe.


Don’t know but there is no value in second guessing this. Your previous post highlights the issue re loss of green space and amenity and I will try and attend the meeting and push for these to be considered as well as the apparent dismissal of consultation results. These are way more relevant than an individual point of view anyway.


I do not agree with this and to suggest so diminishes the campaign re Camberwell cemeteries IMHO.


Perhaps it’s conceivable that someone has very personal reasons for wanting local burial and the opportunity to tend the grave of a loved one, reasons they may not want to go into on a public forum?

I’m not suggesting that the wants of one person outweigh all other arguments, just that there are reasons to support local burial provision beyond being a local authority stooge.



We are talking about a Lewisham resident who supports using the Rec for graves - denying children a place for sport. I can understand a Southwark resident who wants to be buried locallyto support burial in the Borough but what is the motive of someone who lives in Lewisham to see local amenities destroyed?
That is what I asked

Brett, I hope you are right and Lewisham doesnt have eyes on its cemeteries. We thought the Rec was saved and now we are discovering it is still at risk.

6.30pm Thursday 15th June
outside Southwark Council
160 Tooley Street London SE1 2QH
7.00pm Planning Committee


I think it is reasonable to see this as a test case and am sure other boroughs are watching this closely. I do not think that Lewisham is as short of burial space as some others, so until they face this issue, and it is not certain that they ever will (they could follow Hackney and bury out of borough for instance), Brockley and Ladywell should be ok.



I am sorry if it seemed I was making a personal attack but I feel that is important to know if a poster has a vested interest in what they are posting about. And anonymity breeds the kind of acrimony we see on the EDF.


But making assumptions about someone’s motives also breeds acrimony. Personally, if I am suspicious of someone’s motivations, I stop engaging with them. It’s the best way to preserve your own integrity in a situation where you can’t prove anything.

I am in ignorance here about burial and local residence: if I live in Lewisham and die in Lewisham, do I have to be buried in Lewisham?


Not just a personal attack but a unwarranted assumption about another poster when they decline to provide personal details, which you then turn into a political accusation against a completely different target, without any basis other than your own imagination - prefixed by a ‘we believe’ to make it sound like it is more than just your personal attack on somebody.

Perhaps it’s just another cunning stunt.

Good luck with your campaign this evening.



No, there is no statutory duty on the local council to do so. In the case of Southwark, they have taken a political stance, so that residents can be expected to be buried in borough (even though they have been running out of space for decades). Well mostly, as in practice this really only applies to Christians and some Turkish Muslims IIRC. Am sure @LewisSchaffer can correct me on this last point.


You don’t have to be buried in Lewisham. You could buy a plot in Southwark but it cost maybe three times the amount Southwark residents pay. I am sure Southwark Council would love that. A case has been made that is why Southwark is fighting to keep burial going - to make money selling plots to people out of the Borough.


Ah, okay. I just wondered why it seemed odd that a Lewisham resident supported a Southwark proposal.

In any case. With my mod hat on (the clue is in the yellow on this post), I don’t think it’s productive to keep making references here to a disagreement on another board. Can contributors here try to stick the facts as we know them?


What people do not seem to understand is there is only so much land and if statistics are to be trusted then Lewishsm borough will have spprox 1500 burials in sny given year.
So the clever amongst our readers will determine the area of land these burials will require. So the 1000 plots achieved by the proposed site could last less thsn a year? Then what do we keep appropriating land willy nilly, I understand the plots can be re-used after 75 years, not sure if this is fact?
In other countries cremation is the norm and growing simply because of the land required to bury the dead.
So those people thst want to visit a ‘local’ grave should be charged a hefty sum.


The proposed site is in Southwark so the number of burials in Lewisham is not relevant to this case. In principle, this could happen anywhere though, so I agree we shouldn’t regard the cemetery land as limitless. Most of these cemeteries exist because the Victorians opted to bury outside the city to avoid these issues. Problem is, the city has grown around them.

There is an act, which applies London-wide, and allows for re-use of private graves after 75 years. This does not apply to Nunhead or Camberwell Cemeteries though (this is a legislative quirk but is recognised by the Council themselves). I personally wish that they could manage the burial they have and apply to amend the act so that they can re-use. As they are doing none of these things, the strategy is not sustainable and the Rec will get used eventually. The current plans for area B strongly indicate the direction of travel with a path that leads in the direction of the tennis courts.


Well forgive me but it would seem thst Southwark due to its poorer population has lower life expectancies and whilst I cannot find the exact figures extrapolating the population details it would seem similar numbers of burials will occur.
So independant of where you reside the need for more land to turn into buriial plots for 75 years or more will grow. Just saying an area is designated solves todays problem but what about the future? A good dose of common sense is required.


Yes which was sadly lacking at the planning committee. Objectors were not allowed to mention burial strategy as this wasn’t what was being decided. Applicants (also Council) talked about little else. They have approved the works with few conditions to speak of and none that I know of from their own design and access statement which was consulted on. A bit of a stitch up really.


Thank you for your tireless campaigning to protect our green space, @LewisSchaffer, @Brett and others. You fought to represent the near-unanimous will of local people.

The support for defending green space vs. housing and graves was evidenced in Southwark council’s own consultations. To their great shame, the council ignored those consultations. If residents vote on principle in the next local election, those councillors will lose their seats. Of all the checks and balances, this is the only one we have left.

Green space is one of the key things that makes our area distinct. Once trees, meadows and fields are gone from London, they’re gone forever. Sadly residents need to fight to protect them, because our current councils won’t.


Thank you. It is a shame but we are fighting on.