'It will be astronomical' - anger over plans to build mausoleum in Westminster Cemetery, Mill Hill

Times Series: 'It will be astronomical'  - anger over plans to build mausoleum 'It will be astronomical' - anger over plans to build mausoleum

Campaigners have vowed to block plans to build a giant tomb on a patch of greenbelt land near a rural village road.

Proposals to build the first multi-faith mausoleum in England next to the Westminster Cemetery, in Milespit Hill, were submitted to Barnet Borough Council last month.

But neighbours say the new building – in which hundreds of people would be interred - will be “astronomical” in size, “wreak havoc” on wildlife in the area and cause traffic chaos.

The land has already been classed for use as a cemetery - even though it was last used as a pig farm before the Second World War and has never housed any graves.

Labour GLA member for Barnet Andrew Dismore, who is leading the campaign against the development, said: “It’s deeply worrying. It goes way beyond what should be permitted and it is masquerading as a cemetery.”

The issue has now become a cross-party matter of concern and opponents are also being backed by Conservative MP Matthew Offord.

Barnet Council leader Richard Cornelius has also described the application as “totally inappropriate for Mill Hill”.

The land was once owned by Westminster Council, but was sold off for just five pence in the 1980s.

Developer Monument Properties Investment is now looking to build on the Grade II listed conservation area.

But the Westminster Association of Relatives (WAR) – made up of next of kin of the deceased in the neighbouring cemetery – is fighting the plans.

Chair of WAR, Eileen Sheppard, of Arkley Park, said: “I grew up here and remember it being a beautiful place - but this will just ruin everything we have all loved about this area.

“It is too big - I’d say it’s astronomical. It will be a dreadful thing for Mill Hill.”

The planning application features a columbaria - a storage room for urns - a new access road, and a 43 space car park, which would involve destroying trees which opponents claim have preservation orders.

Richard Logue, chair of the Mill Hill Residents Association, said: “It’s not a mausoleum, it’s a necropolis.

"There’s going to be a huge demand for it so in an area where traffic is already heavy, they should be finding ways to keep it down.”

Campaigners also argue the development will ruin the habitat for wildlife in the area, which is believed to include badgers, hedgehogs, sloe worms and deer.

Peter Smallwood, of Monument Properties Investment, said he and his co-owners were more than happy to listen to the objections of neighbours.

He said: “We will listen to what they have to say – we won’t just ignore them. We want to speak with them and hear what their concerns are.

“There is a chronic shortage of burial space in this country and mausoleums are becoming more accepted. We feel it is an appropriate place to put one and it is a sensible use of the land.”

Comments (13)

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10:32pm Thu 3 Apr 14

nlygo says...

nimbys.

until you need somewhere to rest ...
nimbys. until you need somewhere to rest ... nlygo
  • Score: -5

6:50am Fri 4 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

nlygo wrote:
nimbys.

until you need somewhere to rest ...
If you read the article (how often does one have to say that?) you will see that included among the objectors are people who don't live anywhere near the site.
Anyway where do you live? I'd be surprised if it was anywhere near this cemetery. People who spout the term 'nimbys' are never the ones who will be affected.
[quote][p][bold]nlygo[/bold] wrote: nimbys. until you need somewhere to rest ...[/p][/quote]If you read the article (how often does one have to say that?) you will see that included among the objectors are people who don't live anywhere near the site. Anyway where do you live? I'd be surprised if it was anywhere near this cemetery. People who spout the term 'nimbys' are never the ones who will be affected. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: -2

11:17am Fri 4 Apr 14

Richard Logue says...

Sorry to disappoint the previous posters but most of us live locally and many of us live in Milespit Hill.

There will be a public meeting tomorrow at the Quench Cafe, Mill Hill East Church at 11am to discuss this issue. Perhaps Norman Goldner would like to attend the meeting and share his views with the residents? Maybe tell us to our faces we are Nimbys? All welcome.
Sorry to disappoint the previous posters but most of us live locally and many of us live in Milespit Hill. There will be a public meeting tomorrow at the Quench Cafe, Mill Hill East Church at 11am to discuss this issue. Perhaps Norman Goldner would like to attend the meeting and share his views with the residents? Maybe tell us to our faces we are Nimbys? All welcome. Richard Logue
  • Score: 2

11:19am Fri 4 Apr 14

Richard Logue says...

Apologies to Mr, Datchery I should not have lumped you in with nlygo.
Apologies to Mr, Datchery I should not have lumped you in with nlygo. Richard Logue
  • Score: 1

11:36am Fri 4 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Richard Logue wrote:
Apologies to Mr, Datchery I should not have lumped you in with nlygo.
No problem, having looked on Google Earth I think I would be able to see this proposed eyesore from my bedroom window so I may attend the meeting.

PS I love it when posters real identities are revealed.

Best wishes
[quote][p][bold]Richard Logue[/bold] wrote: Apologies to Mr, Datchery I should not have lumped you in with nlygo.[/p][/quote]No problem, having looked on Google Earth I think I would be able to see this proposed eyesore from my bedroom window so I may attend the meeting. PS I love it when posters real identities are revealed. Best wishes Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 2

8:39am Sat 5 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

nlygo wrote:
nimbys.

until you need somewhere to rest ...
nlygo -- Your comment is stupid in so many ways. Please come to the meeting at the Quench Cafe to explain yourself.
[quote][p][bold]nlygo[/bold] wrote: nimbys. until you need somewhere to rest ...[/p][/quote]nlygo -- Your comment is stupid in so many ways. Please come to the meeting at the Quench Cafe to explain yourself. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 2

8:45am Sat 5 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Mr Datchery -- Your comment that "having looked on Google Earth I think I would be able to see this proposed eyesore from my bedroom window so I may attend the meeting" unfortunately adds weight to nlygo's suggestion that objectors are nimbys. But there are many reasons other than nimbyism for opposing this planning application. Please do come to the Quench Cafe meeting to find out why.
Mr Datchery -- Your comment that "having looked on Google Earth I think I would be able to see this proposed eyesore from my bedroom window so I may attend the meeting" unfortunately adds weight to nlygo's suggestion that objectors are nimbys. But there are many reasons other than nimbyism for opposing this planning application. Please do come to the Quench Cafe meeting to find out why. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 2

9:29am Sat 5 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

It would have been helpful if this article had included details of how to comment on the planning application. It is a shame that new items in Times Series publications often neglect to explain to readers how they may follow up issues of public concern.

In this case, it is easy to contribute online. Go to acolaidpublic.barnet
.gov.uk/online-appli
cations (which you can also reach via barnet.gov.uk) and enter the reference number H/01134/14. You will then be able to make your own comment on the mausoleum proposal.

Before making your own comment on the planning application, you may be interested to read the detailed objectionalready submitted by Andrew Dismore, who is a former MP for Hendon and currently the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden. Although I do not personally share Mr Dismore’s political views, I fully support his stand on this environmental issue. You can read his submission at www.andrewdismore.or
g.uk/home/wp-content
/uploads/2014/04/GLA
-Planning-objection-
to-mausoleum-Milespi
t-Hill.pdf

Please read Mr Dismore’s submission (and others available through the Barnet planning applications web pages), and submit your own comment to this planning application.
It would have been helpful if this article had included details of how to comment on the planning application. It is a shame that new items in Times Series publications often neglect to explain to readers how they may follow up issues of public concern. In this case, it is easy to contribute online. Go to acolaidpublic.barnet .gov.uk/online-appli cations (which you can also reach via barnet.gov.uk) and enter the reference number H/01134/14. You will then be able to make your own comment on the mausoleum proposal. Before making your own comment on the planning application, you may be interested to read the detailed objectionalready submitted by Andrew Dismore, who is a former MP for Hendon and currently the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden. Although I do not personally share Mr Dismore’s political views, I fully support his stand on this environmental issue. You can read his submission at www.andrewdismore.or g.uk/home/wp-content /uploads/2014/04/GLA -Planning-objection- to-mausoleum-Milespi t-Hill.pdf Please read Mr Dismore’s submission (and others available through the Barnet planning applications web pages), and submit your own comment to this planning application. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Further to my previous observation, I note that the Times Series reporter failed to ask Peter Smallwood of Monument Properties Investment to justify his claim that Britain has a chronic shortage of burial space. This is not an accepted fact, and a good investigative journalist would have pumped him for evidence to support his claim (and also his opinion that "mausoleums are becoming more accepted") and/or looked for evidence from responsible independent sources.

The article also states that the land concerned has already been classed for use as a cemetery, But it fails to point out that a multi-storey mausoleum does not fit any definition of a cemetery.

I have a lot of respect for the local news service provided by the Times Series, but it could be so much better.
Further to my previous observation, I note that the Times Series reporter failed to ask Peter Smallwood of Monument Properties Investment to justify his claim that Britain has a chronic shortage of burial space. This is not an accepted fact, and a good investigative journalist would have pumped him for evidence to support his claim (and also his opinion that "mausoleums are becoming more accepted") and/or looked for evidence from responsible independent sources. The article also states that the land concerned has already been classed for use as a cemetery, But it fails to point out that a multi-storey mausoleum does not fit any definition of a cemetery. I have a lot of respect for the local news service provided by the Times Series, but it could be so much better. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Sun 6 Apr 14

marccohen53 says...

Is this the same Andrew Dismore who flipped his home to take advantage of the expenses scandal?
Is this the same Andrew Dismore who flipped his home to take advantage of the expenses scandal? marccohen53
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Sun 6 Apr 14

nlygo says...

you may think that - I couldn't possibly comment.
you may think that - I couldn't possibly comment. nlygo
  • Score: -2

8:12am Mon 7 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

marccohen53 wrote:
Is this the same Andrew Dismore who flipped his home to take advantage of the expenses scandal?
What's that got to do with the matter in hand? If that's Offord in the picture (?) you might as well say "the same Matthew Offord who voted to raise Tuition Fees and VAT", it's about as relevant.
It seems there may be a shortage of burial space.
http://digitaljourna
l.com/article/359150

At the same time there is an increasing demand for woodland burials
http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/news/politics
/6873997/Natural-bur
ials-increase-in-pop
ularity-as-eco-consc
ious-Baby-Boomers-gr
ow-old.html.
It seems to me with a little thoughtful landscaping the space in question could be used for this which I would not object to, I might even book a plot myself.
[quote][p][bold]marccohen53[/bold] wrote: Is this the same Andrew Dismore who flipped his home to take advantage of the expenses scandal?[/p][/quote]What's that got to do with the matter in hand? If that's Offord in the picture (?) you might as well say "the same Matthew Offord who voted to raise Tuition Fees and VAT", it's about as relevant. It seems there may be a shortage of burial space. http://digitaljourna l.com/article/359150 At the same time there is an increasing demand for woodland burials http://www.telegraph .co.uk/news/politics /6873997/Natural-bur ials-increase-in-pop ularity-as-eco-consc ious-Baby-Boomers-gr ow-old.html. It seems to me with a little thoughtful landscaping the space in question could be used for this which I would not object to, I might even book a plot myself. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Mon 7 Apr 14

marccohen53 says...

Maria Miller, Andrew Dismore - no difference
Maria Miller, Andrew Dismore - no difference marccohen53
  • Score: 0

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