No issues with new Hainault Muslim-only cemetery planning application, says cemetery board member

A new Hainault Muslim-only cemetery should no have no issues when a Redbridge Council planning committee decide on the application, according to one of its board members.

The “desperate need” to bury the Muslim dead within London boroughs is greater than ever with Redbridge’s Muslim community making up 23.3 per cent of the borough’s population - double the London average.

The Recorder reported in October how the Gardens of Peace Cemetery, Elmbridge Road, is 75 per cent full.

Mohamed Omer, 55, a board member at the Gardens of Peace Cemetery, wishes to use the 5.26 hectares site in Five Oaks Lane for Muslim burials.

The development plans include the need for plots to be arranged on an east-west axis, facing Mecca, and the site’s buildings have the required cemetery facilities.

Mr Omer said: “We are looking to alter the buildings to make better use of the space, this is mainly internal configuration work.

“We wouldn’t call it expansion as such, there is very limited external visual impact as you will see from the plans.”

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Mr Omer admits he is unsure how many burial plots the new development will be able to accommodate. “We are still working on that,” he said.

Part of the proposal also include the “beefing up of the boundary fence” to block passers-by having to look into the site.

Mr Omer added: “It is next to the Hainault Golf Course – we want to put down a fence and planting so people cannot see from the road.

“[This is] based on the very successful scheme we introduced in Elmbridge Road.”

The Five Oaks Lane site, just a mile-and-a-half from the Elmbridge Road cemetery, has already received planning permission for a cemetery for the burial of human remains in 2004.

The site previously was a pet cemetery.

Mr Omer believes this fact will ensure Redbridge Council should not find any additional issues with this latest planning proposal.

He said: “In short the plans call for improving on what is already there and what had been contemplated before. [It is] not expanding as such.

“Therefore I do not see any issues with the planning. “

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