We are committed to listening to local views and to working closely with the local community as we progress through the design and planning process.
We are fully aware of the protest organised by a local resident, with regard to the former Swinton Unitarian Church and the associated burial ground. We have, however, been aware of this issue for many months, long before this protest. As such, we have been devising a plan to demonstrate how seriously we are treating this matter and how strongly we feel that due reverence be shown to those who were buried on the site.
Currently, the land in question is rough ground with nothing whatsoever marking the site to commemorate its past. As an integral part of the ASDA new store scheme, the following measures are proposed:
In general terms, our intentions are in accordance with all requirements of the Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act 1981.
Aside from improving local shopping choice, regenerating Swinton Shopping Centre and creating around 250 new local jobs, the new development would finally bring a long-term public recognition of the burial ground. Far from being disrespectful, we believe that our plans would deliver a long overdue fitting memorial, where at present there is nothing at all marking the site's past.