A Long Term Future for Crossbones Garden

Our negotiations around the long term future for Crossbones with the site owners and developers TfL and U+I are continuing. Crossbones Graveyard forms part of a larger piece of land being developed known as Landmark Court.

TfL and U+I have already publicly committed to the protection of Crossbones in perpetuity as a destination and sanctuary, to fund improvements to the garden in line with an agreed plan and the 'vision', and are in the process of discussing our proposals on a longer lease and enhanced funding. 

We've recently completed a series of very productive and enjoyable workshops with the team, attended by our Crossbones Forum participants, who were very pleased with how the consultation process has been conducted so far. However, the longer term arrangements for the site are unclear. We want to make sure that the lease is transferable, so that in the event of BOST's status changing, the site would still be protected and can be transferred to an organisation or Trust similarly passionate about protecting open spaces.  At present Bankside Open Spaces Trust has a short term interim lease for Crossbones. We are asking for a lease of the same length development on Landmark Court of 299 years.

Since Greater London Authority (GLA), along with Southwark Council, may also be deciding the outcome of the planning application BOST have been advised to liaise with the GLA as well, not least since GLA have responsibility for TfL (the landowner) through the Mayor's office. It was suggested that BOST set up a petition (petition link here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/secure-the-long-term-protection-of-crossbones-graveyard) to show the strength of feeling of Crossbones supporters in protecting the burial ground. In line with BOST's previous submission to Southwark Council in response to the Landmark Court planning application the petition requests that the GLA acknowledges:

1. Crossbones Graveyard is a destination and a sanctuary not a thoroughfare; 

2. In the GLA’s role as custodian of the site, that it ensure an appropriate management body (open spaces charity/community group e.g. Bankside Open Spaces Trust) is appointed as the steward of the site throughout the lease term. The lease itself to be transferable to another similar management body. 

3. Crossbones Graveyard is protected through a long term lease and associated management agreement which reflects Crossbones position as a heritage site – 299 years / in perpetuity; 

4. Funding is assured throughout the life of the lease for site supervision (wardens) and maintenance to protect the historic material culture on site.

As a charity which campaigns for the protection of open spaces in SE1, BOST is pleased to be able to give a voice to its grass roots supporters via this petition.

Sarah Mangan