Sheffield General Cemetery 'improvement' plans set to go ahead despite objections

Sheffield General Cemetery.
Sheffield General Cemetery.
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Controversial improvement plans for Sheffield General Cemetery are due to be given the green light next week despite concerns from those living near the site and conservation organisations.

Sheffield Council's planning and highways committee is due to approve its own application to carry out works at the site but changed its proposals following concerns over the creation of a 13-bay car park within the Sharrow site.

Planning officers have recommended planning permission is granted after the car park was reduced to three parking spaces after more than 900 people signed two petitions against the proposals, which would see parking provided just off Montague Street.

The council said the works would see the site removed from Historic England's 'Heritage At Risk' register but objectors also claimed they would lead to the 'unnecessary felling of perfectly healthy trees'.

A report to the meeting said: "The key objectives of the scheme are to remove the site from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register, make the park more accessible and welcoming for users increasing use to a wider audience, provide a safe, accessible and welcoming public park, engage people with the site’s heritage, and to protect the natural habitat and enhance bio-diversity."

The report also said people had raised concerns about a lack of artist's impressions for the works and that the Gardens Trust welcomed the proposals but said it had 'serious concerns about the proposed car park'.

A possible café was also mentioned in the original masterplan for the site but is not part of the current application.

The report said 54 trees from a total of around 360 trees would be removed as part of the proposals.

In recommending the application is approved, the report said: "The applicants are currently part way through a bid process where grant funding totalling £3.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund is being sought.

"This funding would facilitate works allowing the site to be removed from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register. The proposals are considered to have an acceptable impact on the architectural and historic character and significance of the site overall, as well as the individually listed buildings and structures.

"The proposed tree removal would be carried out through a 10-year management programme and would be considered to open up the site, and have ecological benefits throughout the site.

"The scheme would be considered to enhance the site’s attractiveness as an open space feature, and the proposed accessible car parking facility would widen the user groups able to access the site with only a very limited reduction in the open space area."

The meeting will be held at Sheffield Town Hall from 2pm on Tuesday, May 1.