Campaigners ready for round two in fight over Sheffield General Cemetery car park plans

Campaigners who seemingly lost the fight against plans to build a car park within the grounds of Sheffield General Cemetery have vowed they haven’t given up the battle just yet.

Members of Save Our Green Open Spaces said they would carry on fighting despite Sheffield Council approving its own planning application to carry out works at the site, including the creation of a three-bay car park within the Sharrow site.

Sheffield General Cemetery. Picture: Dean Atkins

Sheffield General Cemetery. Picture: Dean Atkins

READ MORE: Sheffield to find out if it will be hosting Rugby League World Cup this month

The number of parking bays was reduced from 13 to three after more than 900 people signed two petitions but campaigners have said they will continue to fight against the proposals.

Jim Dimond, of SOGOS, said: “There are a number of issues and there is a local campaign in opposition to get the car park stopped because we see it as misguiding on a number of different levels.

“From a heritage point of view, because of its listed status,the site is Sheffield's equivalent of London’s Highgate Cemetery.

Sheffield General Cemetery

Sheffield General Cemetery

“Punching a hole through the wall and then building a car park would ruin it completely and it would be disrespectful because it’s where a lot of people are buried.”

READ MORE: ‘Prompt action’ needed to improve safety of Sheffield junction where two tram-trains crashed in space of five weeks

Sheffield Council also received a £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in July to carry out major restoration work at the Sharrow site – conserving heritage and improving facilities and access.

The authority said the plans would see the site removed from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register and make the park more accessible and welcoming for users.

Sheffield General Cemetery. Picture: Chris Etchells

Sheffield General Cemetery. Picture: Chris Etchells

READ MORE: World War Two air bomber’s medal reunited with family after being found in Doncaster field

But Mr Dimond said: “There is a lot going on behind the scenes and it's something we still intend to pursue most vigorously.

"We support the Heritage Lottery Fund money but we want the money to be spent on maintenance and upkeep of the monuments and grounds.

"If the council use any of that money for the car park, it's then got to be policed. We don’t want to be responsible for the council losing that money but the HLF states it can only be used to protect, conserve and preserve and building a car park goes against that criteria.”