Home For the record Knowsley Cemetery – Sharing of Inaccurate Information
For the record

Knowsley Cemetery – Sharing of Inaccurate Information

by Guy Murphy

The Council has been made aware of some inaccurate comments which are sadly, once again, circulating via social media.  To clarify the position:-

Planning Applications for Knowsley Cemetery

Specifically, some individuals continue to circulate a map/plan which formed part of an original planning application from 1994 for the creation of Knowsley Cemetery.  The plan in question shows phase one of development and references possible expansion land (referred to on this map as “future phases”).

Knowsley Council only ever granted planning permission for “phase one” of the development – when the Council’s Planning Committee considered the 1994 map, it did NOT approve any of the potential future phases.  The land depicted as “future phases” was specifically excluded by the Planning Committee from the planning permission granted in 1994.  The land in question therefore retained its formal designation as green belt agricultural land.

As a result, the plan which is currently being circulated has never had any planning status.  It is a map of a proposal which was rejected almost 30 years ago.

In 2012, planning permission was granted for an expansion of the Cemetery and some further land was incorporated into the Cemetery.

In 2016, and following extensive public consultation as part of Knowsley’s adoption of a new Local Plan, Knowsley Cemetery and the surrounding land was formally allocated to be part of Halsnead Garden Village.

In 2017, the Halsnead Garden Village Masterplan and its associated planning documents formally designated a third expansion for Knowsley Cemetery, with the remaining land allocated for development purposes.  Planning permission was granted in 2018 for the third phase and the land in question now forms part of the Cemetery as it exists today.

For the avoidance of doubt, at no time has any land other than that which forms Knowsley Cemetery today ever been formally designated for the expansion of the Cemetery.

Published Decision

In addition, a post has been shared on social media which claims to quote from a Cabinet decision made on 13 July 2022.  The post states that this alleged decision says that, “The report proposes an allocation of capital receipts from the sale of existing cemetery designated land in Halsnead Garden Village to enable the provision of core cemetery infrastructure which will provide the Council with long term cemetery capacity at Whiston Woods.”

This post is completely untrue.  The quote above is not taken from any Council or Cabinet decision – it is instead a description (published in May 2020) of a report which was being considered for potential consideration at a Cabinet meeting on 29 July 2020.  In fact, the report in question was subsequently found to be incorrect as all of the designated cemetery land within Halsnead Garden Village had already been ulitised for cemetery expansion and land was therefore not available for disposal or as a potential source of funding.  As a result, the potential report was never considered by the Cabinet, and nor was any such decision ever made

The true position is that the Council’s Cabinet agreed on 13 July 2022 to purchase land from the Forestry Commission (subject to obtaining planning permission from St Helens Council) and furthermore agreed investment of £1.342m from future capital receipts to support any proposed extension of Knowsley Cemetery.

You can read the actual decision here.