London Green Belt Council

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Updated 11 May 2007, this page includes various recent decisions on appeals against refusal of planning consent. Summarises of appeal decisions arising from refusal of planning consent are available at www.Planning Reource.co,uk/dcs, with a copy of the decision letter also available for a fee.

'SoS' = Secretary of State. 'DETR' is now ‘DCLG’ = Dept for Communities and Local Government


Essex GB cemetery refused due to columns.  The 35m. diameter columbarium circle of columns up to 3.5m high prevented approval since it was an integral to the overall design.  The 3.5ha site was unused though historically was grazing land.  The chapel would have a glazed roof and 12.5m glass spires, a wreath cloister with a partly roofed, open-sided structure.  The circle would enclose a water feature and garden, with the rest of the land laid out as a park with a defined area for burials.  The Inspector agreed that everything except the circle complied with PPG2, but it was not possible to reject the circle and approve the rest of the scheme.  DCS 100037471.  1.7.05

Chislehurst GB cemetery refusal upheld by Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal agreed that the Inspector had properly assessed the impact on the openness of the area, and even if there had been an error in considering open space policies it would not have affected the overall result.  The proposal was to redevelop a sports field as a cemetery and crematorium.   Kemnal Manor Memorial Gardens Ltd v 1st sec of State and another.  14 June 2005.  Ref C1/2004/2527.  Planning mag 1.7.05

Green burial ground refused in Essex GB.  Although in principle a burial ground was appropriate in the GB the proposed chapel would be far more than a simple shelter and would contain facilities for making drinks.  The equipment store was of a significant size.  Taken together the buildings and paved aprons would unacceptable reduce the openness.  DCS 100037115.  3 June 2005.

S London chapel refused at cemetery.  The Inspector decided that it was reasonable for the Greek Orthodox mourners to have choice of conducting a funeral service on site so a chapel was necessary. However he rejected the design as resembling a poorly designed bungalow, thereby depressing mourners.  DCS 53218808.  Nov 2004.

Dorset GB woodland cemetery approved.  This change of use of agricultural land would not harm the GB, the local landscape, the quality of surface and ground water, living conditions, or highway safety.  Ashes could be buried or scattered, coffins buried and trees used instead of headstones.  Paths and vehicular tracks would follow existing landform and the car park screened by planting.  The number of vehicles would not significantly affect the openness of the large site.  Privacy, security and disturbance of neighbours would not be unduly harmed, and the cemetery would not in itself encourage antisocial activities as feared by neighbours.  The location was not particularly sustainable but any woodland cemetery had to be out of town.  Slow funeral corteges might slow traffic but nothing more.  DCS 44602041.  Oct 2004.

Kent GB graveyard refused.  This reuse of a sports ground was refused being still in active use at weekends and the pavilion used for social functions and events.  The proposal was to demolish the pavilion and erect a chapel and crematorium, with a garden of remembrance and 30ha for burials. The Inspector decided it would reduce the openness of the area.  No assessment had been made as to whether the sports fields was necessary, nor were replacement facilities proposed.  There was some spare cremation and burial facilities at the adjoining local authorities, so there was no need for this facility.  Just because there were delays at times was the nature of the business.  DCS 29832208.  April 2004.

Essex GB cemetery refused – A cemetery, place of worship and manager’s home were refused as inappropriate and would harm highway safety.  The Inspector found the cemetery acceptable but not the other two since they would reduce the openness of the GB.  No very special circumstances had been offered.  The proposed access had poor visibility affecting highway safety and the free flow of traffic.  DCS 30871314.  January 2004

Dorset GB cemetery building allowed – An 84 m2 building was approved as a reception building at a natural burial ground, to accommodate 20 people, toilet facilities, small catering room and caretaker’s office.  The Inspector ruled that a cemetery was an appropriate use of BG land and the building was the minimum required.  DCS 31054940.  June 2003.

GB cemetery approved - the Inspector allowed a cemetery at Brentwood, Essex, being appropriate in the GB. The Council thought a chapel for 100 people and car parking provision was excessive, but the Inspector disagreed. Brentwood BC 16 Oct 2002. DCS 34169604

Cemetery and memorial park refused in green belt.

At Bolton, Lancashire, it was proposed to build a cemetery and memorial park in the Croal-Irwell valley, re-using a restored landfill site with the upper level for burials and the lower level for sinking pre-cast concrete vaults with a capacity for 14,300 interments, surrounded by a memorial park. The Inspector said it would be an appropriate development in a green belt. However it would alter the informal natural character of the area, being managed to a high degree of neatness. The memorial garden would also introduce a formal nature harming the character of the valley and green belt visual amenities. Date 22 Sept 2000. Ref APP/N4205/A/00/1044408/HEARING

Cemetery at Cuffley, Herts

Appeal refused because the cemetery would significantly affect the appearance of the Green Belt. Welwyn Hatfield Council refused a proposed cemetery on 2.9 hectares of open agricultural land at Cuffley because it would be an unacceptable visual intrusion and create additional activity which would harm the Green Belt and landscape conservation area. Although a cemetery is an acceptable form of development in a green belt, the DETR Inspector said the traffic and parking, memorial stones, and provision of planting, would be visually intrusive, alien features in this isolated rural area.


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