September 28th, 2016

Muslim burial ground set for refusal by Solihull Council

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 3,333-plot Muslim burial ground in Catherine-de-Barnes looks set to be refused by planning chiefs on Wednesday (June 17).

This is the third application put in by developers to create a cemetery on Woodhouse Farm in Catherine-de-Barnes Lane – the first was withdrawn in and the second was refused on a number of issues by the planning committee in October 2014 including highway safety and pollution of controlled water in the area.

The previous application was also refused because it did not meet the very special circumstances to build on the Greenbelt.

The application has attracted a great deal of public attention – 72 letters and emails in opposition were received and 92 in support of the plans were sent to the Council.

In documents released ahead of Wednesday’s meeting it was revealed those in objection said the plans would “encourage segregation, not integration,” would be harmful to the character of Catherine-de-Barnes and there is no need for the application to be approved as there is already ample provision within Solihull and surrounding boroughs for Muslim burials.

Objections were also received from Bickenhill Parish Council, Hampton in Arden Parish Council, West Midlands Police and the Environment Agency.

Those in favour state the plans would ‘enhance and preserve the Greenbelt,’ it will reduce the cost of burials and will meet the cultural needs of Muslims which are not met at existing facilities.

The document stated the plans should be refused on the grounds that it was ‘inappropriate development within the Greenbelt’ and will cause harm to the area, character and openness of the locality in the area.

It was also revealed the application should be refused because it would cause a conflict between fast moving traffic along Catherine de Barnes Lane and queueing and slow moving vehicles attempting to access the site and it have a harmful impact upon groundwater conditions within the area.

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