Holwood News

18/04/2011  Keston Proposed Private Cemetery
  Planning permission has been sought for a private cemetery to be built on the land adjoining Holwood House and near Wilberforce Scout Camp. If you feel this is inappropriate then HERA would encourage you to oppose the application. (see below for some suggested reasons). OBJECTIONS SHOULD BE MADE BY 4 MAY '''A planning application for change of agricultural land in Downe Road, Keston to a commercial cemetery. Ref DC/11/00287/FULL2 Bromley Council have advised that an application has been received from Mr Aamer Waheed for a commercial cemetery, single storey reception and 70 car parking spaces on agriculatural land (12 acres) which is currently part of a World Heritage Site bid. We urge you to resist this application by writing to the Planning support team at Bromley council before 20th /APRIL 2011 for the following reasons: * GREEN BELT - This is an Area of Archaeological significance – Warbank, Holwood Iron Age Fort, Tile Kiln, Caesar’s Camp etc. * Gateway to the proposed World Heritage Site which includes Down House and much of Darwin’s original local research area. The site was placed back on the government’s tentative list in the last couple of weeks. * Section 4 protection on this land exists to prevent its fragmentation. * All elevation drawings submitted with this application fail to represent the land contour and gradient. This is a steeply rising site which would create the cemetery as a feature rather than a discrete operation blending with the landscape. * The planning application is entirely commercially driven by the proposer and presented as fulfilling a need for London. The commercial upside to the proposer is colossal. (Burial plots @ £3600 per item with x 4 multiples out of borough). The applicant has several similar applications around the country at present. The site if successful could be worth £20-£30 million to the developer at least. What happens if the holding company goes bust after say 30 years. Will it fall upon Bromley ratepayers to maintain the site with none of the commercial gain experienced by others. See Springhill cemetery, Lichfield developed by Aamer Waheed (same applicant). * The number of burials stated at two per day with 10 cars per funeral. Both figures appear significantly understated and in particular the quantity of traffic generated. The site is served by a congested narrow lane (Shire Lane to the west) and a road network that is simply not suitable for traffic volumes which are likely to be four or five times higher than stated. Significant highway impact on all roads locally such as Westerham Road, Keston Mark lights and Leaves Green Road. * Huge impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty and its immediate neighbourhood which threaten some of the most stunning views in the area. * The demand for additional cemetery/burial places can either be met by local availability or by re-using old graves in excess of 100 years old as proposed by the Mayor and government policy. This policy is far more sustainable than desecrating a protected green field site. * The elevations portray a serene green field site with a well blended reception building. It does not reveal the variety of headstones sizes, materials that will be part of this proposal and the road network required within the site (an area on which buildings and infrastructure are not permitted development). Huge impact on residential amenity due to the gradient of the land and extreme difficulty in obscuring this with natural screening. * There is no reference to storage of diggers, digging equipment, service vehicles and the like. The storage of such equipment is deemed inappropriate on Metropolitan open land policy. Drainage systems and the effect of a cemetery on water table drainage is not mentioned on the Environmental report. This should be of concern to all local residents. * Access – the proposed access to Downe Road is dangerous. The traffic speeds are often considerably in excess of 30mph and the number of accidents (including multiple fatal accidents in Shire Lane and Westerham Road) immediately adjacent to this are testimony to this over recent years. * The area immediately adjacent to the proposed site is a long established Scout camp and outdoor pursuits centre. This is frequently used throughout the year by scout and beaver groups. It is inappropriate for youngsters to be sited next to a commercial cemetery operation. Details of this application may be seen on the Bromley website www.bromley.gov.uk/planningaccess using reference: 11/00287/FULL2. Your written comments can be made on the site or by post to Bromley Council. Town Planning Bromley Council Civic Centre Stockwell Close Bromley BR1 3UH Email planning@bromley.gov.uk Please act now before it is too late.
  Article added by:Steve
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