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Solihull Muslim cemetery plan submitted for THIRD time

Supporters of scheme to build Muslim cemetery in Catherine-de-Barnes have reduced plans to 3,333 plots

Picturesque Catherine-de-Barnes
Picturesque Catherine-de-Barnes

Controversial plans for a muslim cemetery in a Solihull village have been submitted for a THIRD time.

The proposals for the burial ground at Woodhouse Farm in Catherine-de-Barnes were turned down twice last year after planners said the development would blight greenbelt land.

But Cemetery Development Services Ltd, the agent working on behalf of the applicant, has continued to stress that there is a need for a dedicated muslim-only cemetery in Solihull – claiming there is a shortage of burial plots to cater for the faith.

The first application for planning permission for the cemetery was for 7,000 burial plots.

This was reduced to 4,000 in the next application.

The current proposal is asking for permission to build a 3,333 plot cemetery with storage and toilet facilities and a garden.

There would also be space for parking, if planning permission is approved.

Coun Bob Sleigh (Con, Bickenhill), who has fought against the two previous applications, said: “This is simply not an appropriate place to site a cemetery.

“Planning permission was refused on substantial grounds last time and I will continue to oppose the scheme on the same grounds again.

“There were a lot of environmental concerns with siting a cemetery on this land. This is just not the right position for this type of scheme.”

Trevor Eames, secretary of Solihull Ratepayers, said the application was ‘disappointing’.

“At this stage we see no obvious difference in this application to the earlier plans or for planning to draw a different conclusion,” he said.

“The parking for 90 cars and access is much the same as is the impact on the openness of the green belt plus there was concern over pollution of watercourses.”

According to a report by Cemetery Development Services, the site in Catherine-de-Barnes will be operated by a charity called Thaqwa Cemetery, which provides ‘a low cost dignified burial at a freehold plot according to Islamic beliefs and culture’.

The report adds: “After the departure of the soul, human being has been buried since beginning. Other methods of disposing of human remain are relatively new. Being the oldest Monotheists, Muslims have always maintained the ancient burial system.

“To preserve this centuries old tradition in this part of the world we acquired a plot of land in the Catherine-De-Barnes area of Solihull after consulting and obtaining positive response from Solihull Metropolitan Borough. It is also an established fact that there is a shortage of burial places across the country.

“Birmingham and Solihull regions are not an exception. Thaqwa Cemetery is a positive endeavour in meeting the community burial need.”

 

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