July 30 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A new Muslim-only cemetery containing 5,000 plots will only help address the need for more burial space in the short term, one of its owners has warned.
Mohamed Omer, also a board member at the Gardens of Peace Cemetery in Elmbridge Road, Hainault, said he is working with Redbridge Council because the new 5.26 hectares Five Oaks Lane site still will not resolve the problem.
Builders began work at the Five Oaks Lane cemetery in May because the Gardens of Peace Cemetery, situated around a mile and a half from Five Oaks Lane, is about 75 per cent full.
The Five Oaks Lane site initially received planning permission for a cemetery for the burial of human remains in 2004. The site previously was a pet cemetery.
Mr Omer said: “[The Five Oaks Lane site] will help address a short term problem but it is certainly not going to address the needs of the community.”
Redbridge’s Muslim community making up 23.3 per cent of the borough’s population - double the London average.
Muslim cemetery plots need to be arranged on an east-west axis in order to face Mecca.
Mr Omer added: “The Muslim population is a growing one and there is shortage in east London more than other areas.”
A council spokesman confirmed Mr Omer had an initial discussion with the local authority earlier this year on the need for more space for Muslim burials and went onto say it was “in a very good position” to cope with demand.
The spokesman added: “The council has long recognised the need to ensure that people of all cultures and creeds have a final resting place for their loved ones within the borough and at this time has more than 30 years of burial space at its disposal at Forest Park and elsewhere in the borough.”