Douglas Park residents hold grave concerns over cemetery plan

The proposed cemetery site in Douglas Park
The proposed cemetery site in Douglas Park

Douglas Park residents are concerned their quiet, country hamlet could soon become people's final resting place.

A developer, Benima Pty Ltd, has submitted plans to build a graveyard with more than 20,000 plots at 430-490 Douglas Park Drive, Douglas Park.

However locals believe the proposed cemetery would negatively impact the suburb's rural amenity.

Douglas park resident Paul Grierson said he chose to live in Douglas Park because of its peaceful environment.

"My wife and I chose to live in Wollondilly due to the promise of rural lifestyle," he said.

"The applicant has made no such decision or commitment to the district.

"In fact, he has never lived in Wollondilly and pays no regard to the greater good of the district."

A group of locals are rallying together against the plan due to their concerns about increased traffic, road surfaces, noise, wildlife habitat, mining impacts on the site and negative visual impacts.

Mr Grierson said locals had submitted more than 70 letters objecting to the proposal.

He said a large crowd was expected to attend a public meeting at the site on Saturday from 2pm.

"We want everyone to be there to show the council that we don't want this in Douglas Park," Mr Grierson said.

"We have organised a convoy of cars to show the council what it would be like to travel our roads each day with the increased traffic - we have even organised a drone to capture footage.

"Our roads are old and full of potholes already - so with all these car movements it is bound to become more of a safety hazard.

"We hope everyone concerned about this proposal comes to the meeting."

Wollondilly Council is not the consent authority for this site, it will be determined by a planning panel, however Mr Grierson hoped the meeting would demonstrate to the council how locals truly felt about the cemetery plan.

Mr Grierson said a graveyard wasn't necessary in Douglas Park.

"Since the original application went in, the application for the cemetery at Varroville has been approved," he said.

"The development of this massive cemetery complex just near Campbelltown will 'serve the Sydney basin for up to 100 years'."

Mr Grierson said the proposed graveyard would be an interruption to resident's lifestyles.

"We would be visually facing the finality of a cemetery as a part of our daily lives," Mr Grierson said.

"It would be any person's prerogative to choose to live directly next to a cemetery and therefore to accept the lifestyle that that would pre-exist their decision.

"[It would be a] very visual reminder in every waking moment of our own mortality - the constant sound of grief and of machinery as they prepare the final resting place for bodies to decompose into the surrounding landscape."

The Advertiser has contacted Benima Pty Ltd for comment.