100 signatures reached
To: The London Borough of Barnet
Save Arkley Green Belt from burial ground development
Oppose plans for a burial ground on Arkley South Fields in Barnet
Why is this important?
There is a proposal for the development of a natural burial ground on Green Belt land next to Barnet Gate Lane, Arkley, and Mays Lane. We are a group of concerned local residents who oppose this development in order to preserve the openness of the Green Belt, safeguard its wildlife and prevent additional traffic in the immediate and surrounding area.
In May 2016, there was a public relations event held in Barnet on behalf of the landowner of Arkley South Fields (registered in the British Virgin Islands, according to the Land Registry) to promote the change of land use from agricultural land to a natural burial ground on the Green Belt. This development was promoted as "green" and low-key: "Each burial plot would remain unmarked except for a small tree or shrub". It also promised to be a "nature reserve" which would "preserve this land as a green space for the rest of the century" - somewhat contradicted by the fact that it would also be fenced off, gated, and would require "a small gathering room for mourners, an office and reception area, toilets and associated car parking".
Another issue would be access to the site, as an entrance on May's Lane is considered too dangerous because of the proximity to a bend, and the extra traffic it would generate in the local area (especially Barnet Gate Lane, which can already get congested in places).
There was a previous application on behalf of the Eastern Sephardic Jewish community for a cemetery on the same site in 1996, which was rejected by Barnet Council and also rejected subsequently on appeal. The main reason for rejection was the following:
"The proposed development would introduce intrusive features and changes to the open landscape that would adversely affect its landscape quality, would not enhance the landscape features which contribute to the Totteridge/Harrow Weald Area of Special Character and the individual quality and character of Heritage Land, and would threaten the landscape character and integrity of this part of the Metropolitan Green Belt."
Another reason was the effect on wildlife, in particular on Skylarks, a bird in decline in the UK: "For their part, the Council and objectors point to the undisputed prospective loss of skylarks from the cemetery site, and possibly further afield".
We believe that these objections still hold true today and that a natural burial site, despite its green credentials, would be detrimental to the landscape and wildlife. It would destroy the open nature of the area, and would represent an encroachment on the countryside.
As yet there has been no planning application made to Barnet Council, but please sign this petition and make your objection known to Barnet Council, that you support the preservation of our countryside over the profits of the landowner.
Please read more about our campaign at www.savearkleygreenbelt.com