Plans for a 4,000 plot Muslim burial site on green belt land in the Midlands is causing a bit of uproar with the local non Muslim community. According to reports the villagers have swamped council planners with objections. The big question is will those objections make the slightest bit of difference to the council or will this be another appeasement of Muslims regardless of objections against plans.
You can be certain if the cemetery does it the go ahead what’s going to happen there. A year down the line they will need to construct a mosque on the site citing they need facilities to prepare the Muslim corpses before burial. Watch this space!!
Residents’ backlash over Muslim burial ground plans
9 Jan 2014 17:30
Villagers angry over plan for 4,000-plot cemetery in green belt
By Annette Belcher
Residents of a leafy parish on the outskirts of Solihill have hit out at plans for a 4,000-plot Muslim cemetery on green belt land.
Planning chiefs have been inundated with objections from villagers in picturesque Catherine-de-Barnes, furious over the potential loss of more open space and traffic problems.
Only weeks ago, Birmingham Dogs Home was given permission to move its base to the tiny community.
The burial site blueprint also includes vehicle access and a carpark off Catherine-de-Barnes lane.
In a written objection, Pam Gibbins said: “I must protest vigorously.
“We are not talking about a small parochial cemetery, but a major development that will impact on the traffic system.”
Solihull Council, however, have also received letters backing the applicant behind the cemetery scheme, Mohammed Moosa.
A letter, signed by five supporters, states: “I agree that a Muslim cemetery would be preferred and beneficial for the Muslim residents in the borough of Solihull.
“I would like to confirm the need for a private Muslim burial ground… which adheres to all Islamic bereavement values and laws.”
A planning statement by the council’s cemetery development services recognised there has been an increase in the Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) population in the borough – a 108 per cent rise between 2001 and 2011.
“Few burial authorities are able to facilitate full Muslim burials in accordance with the practice of Sharia Law,” the report stated.
But Coun Bob Sleigh (Con, Bikenhill) said there is already space available at the borough’s two main cemeteries – Widney Manor and Woodlands. Widney has a separate area for Muslim burials.
“The issue here is whether there is an over-riding need and I don’t believe there is,” Coun Sleigh said.
“I do not believe this is an appropriate development in greenbelt land. Residents who have spoken to me, including the parish council and residents association, have concerns about the design and vehicles access.
“The access road is a dangerous road and residents have concerns over the increase in traffic this development will cause.”
The views were echoed by residents Phil and Karen Guest.
Their objection states: “We are amazed at yet another planning application on this beautiful arable land following the recent dogs home planning approval.
“If further applications are approved then sooner rather than later the whole acreage will be built up.”
Dr Issam Ghannam, a Solihull Imam, said: “We have a growing Muslim population in Solihull. We have also an ageing population and plots are filling up. The nearest Muslim cemetery is Handsworth and it can be extremely difficult for relatives to visit their loved ones.”
Muslims are traditionally buried in their own section of land, next to others of the same faith.