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Cabinet endorse plans to extend Knowsley Cemetery

by Laura Johnston

Cabinet has tonight received an update on the community consultation on a proposal to extend Knowsley Cemetery into Whiston Woods.

The current site on Foxes Bank Lane has approximately three years of burial capacity remaining.

The proposal would create the additional capacity needed over the next 100 years by creating 10,000 additional burial plots to allow residents of Knowsley and neighbouring areas to lay their loved ones to rest in their local area.

A community consultation which included online and face-to-face events, ran from 5 June 2023 until 4 August 2023.

Over the two-month consultation period, 222 responses were received and 77% of respondents stated that the Council should continue to provide Cemetery provision for local residents and 54% of respondents supported the proposals to extend Knowsley Cemetery into Whiston Woods.

Whiston Woods is a 20.14 hectare woodland site which is owned by Forestry England and, while falling within the boundary of St Helens Borough Council, lies on the boundary between Knowsley and St Helens (which means that access to the site is via the Knowsley highway network).

The proposal is to purchase Whiston Woods from Forestry England and use approximately 4.4 hectares of the site (less than a quarter of the site) as an extension to the current Knowsley Cemetery.

The remainder of the Whiston Woods site would remain as community woodland with investment made to support access into the site, to extensively improve the existing network of pathways, and provide seating areas and wider landscape habitats.

Cabinet has endorsed the recommendation to prepare a submission of planning applications and associated supporting documentation into St Helens Council and Knowsley Council in relation to the Whiston Woods Cemetery Expansion project.  As part of the planning application process, statutory public consultations will be undertaken by each council.