Council amends Sheffield General Cemetery plans after more than 4,000 object

Sheffield General Cemetery.
Sheffield General Cemetery.
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Council bosses have amended their improvement plans for Sheffield General Cemetery following strong opposition from campaigners and nature charities.

Sheffield Council has reduced the number of car parking spaces proposed as part of the application from 14 to four after more than 4,000 people signed a petition against the proposals.

Those living near the site also formed the Save Our Green Open Spaces Sheffield (SOGOSS) campaign group to fight the plans for the Sharrow site.

Lisa Firth, Sheffield Council's head of parks and countryside, said: "We have reviewed the feedback and decided to revise our proposals to include only three Blue Badge parking spaces within the cemetery and one space outside the Gatehouse entrance.

“The original car parking proposals responded to needs identified during the project consultation. Many people told us that a lack of parking discouraged them from visiting the park.

“Parts of the park are steep and therefore restrictive for older people and wheelchair users. We have decided that parking for blue badge holders was necessary to ensure that people with a disability would not be discriminated against when it came to visiting the park.

“The proposed car parking provision will be designed to complement the historic setting, bollards will be used to prevent vehicular access into the wider cemetery park."

The council said the scheme, which would include conservation works on listed walls and monuments, landscape improvements, new signage and lighting, would lead to the site being removed from Historic England's 'Heritage At Risk' register.

But SOGOSS members said they were concerned over the installation of a car park within the Cemetery Avenue site and the re-routing of footpaths through it, which would lead to 'healthy' trees being felled.

Eileen Evans, of Cemetery Road, who helped set up SOGOSS, said the group would hold another meeting next week to look through the amendments to the application.

She said: "We want to just take a bit of time to articulate that because it's very positive on the one hand but we want to have proper look at what it really means."

Ms Evans said parking could be provided outside of the cemetery site on Cemetery Road and Stalker Lees Road.

"Having a car park on site would eat into the cemetery by at least a quarter and that would have a big impact both aesthetically and on people's enjoyment of the green space," she added.

"The Botanical Gardens doesn't have a car park and people can cope up there and it's much busier."