Anoopam Mission UK has won a landmark appeal to build a crematorium on its grounds in Denham, Buckinghamshire, adjacent to its existing Hindu Temple and Community Centre.
In the decision, the Planning Inspectorate acknowledged that for faith and cultural reasons, the Hindu community in North and West London, and the surrounding counties, are “disadvantaged by being denied the opportunity to fully observe their cultural and religious beliefs and traditions for funerals and cremations”.
The design for the new crematorium building and associated facilities has been architecturally designed to meet the needs of the Hindu community. The proposal includes two waiting rooms, two private ritual rooms for pre-ceremony rituals, a large ceremony hall, a crematory hall, and parking.
Additionally, there is a separate canteen building including dining seating and showering facilities to enable ritual washing and communal eating following a cremation.
According to Anoopam Mission, existing crematoria in the area do not cater for all Hindu rites and rituals with regards to the size of the facilities, parking facilities and “insufficient” service times.
Over 2,000 signatures of support were received for the proposals, with Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Bob Blackman MP speaking in favour of the application during the appeal hearing on behalf of the Hindu community.
Param Puya Sahebji, the spiritual leader of Anoopam Mission, said: “Our large and tranquil grounds in Denham, with our newly built Mandir facilities, provides an ideal location for this ‘manav sewa’, or service to humanity. We look forward to working with all Hindu organisations to deliver this vision for the whole community.”
Lord Jitesh Gadhia added: “This is a landmark moment for the Hindu Community in the UK. Many of us have actively campaigned for a purpose-built Hindu Crematorium to meet the needs of our community and the provision of better facilities sensitive to our cultural and social requirements.”