Solihull Proposals Submitted for Third Time
Plans for a Muslim cemetery in a Solihull village have been submitted for an unprecedented third time.
The application for the graveyard at Woodhouse Farm, named ‘Thaqwa Cemetery’ in Catherine-de-Barnes was rejected twice last year after planners said the development would disfigure greenbelt land.
However, Cemetery Development Services Ltd, who is working on behalf of the applicant, has stressed the need for a 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, which was then reduced to 4,000 in the next application.
This was then further reduced to a 3,333 plot cemetery, which is the current number, along 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 citing 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.”
The report says: “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.”