Anoopam Mission wins landmark appeal to build Hindu Crematorium

Friday 17th December 2021 07:29 EST

Anoopam Mission UK has received a landmark planning decision to build a state-of-the-art crematorium on its grounds in Denham, Buckinghamshire, adjacent to its existing Hindu Temple and Community Centre. This would represent the first purpose-built Hindu faith crematorium in the UK.

In its decision published on 16 December 2021, the Planning Inspectorate acknowledged the very special circumstances which justify building on green belt land.  In particular, the Planning Inspector noted 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.  

Specifically, existing crematoria in the area do not adequately cater for all Hindu rites and rituals with an inadequate size of facilities, parking facilities and difficulties in providing a funeral when necessary and with insufficient service times.  The proposals were noted for offering a quality, auspicious and fitting funeral experience for the Hindu Community that is currently not provided for in this country. 

The design of the crematorium building, and associated facilities, has been specifically tailored and architecturally designed to meet the needs of the Hindu community. The proposal includes 2 waiting rooms, 2 private ritual rooms for pre-ceremony rituals, a large ceremony hall and a crematory hall. There is also a separate canteen building including dining seating and showering facilities. This would enable ritual washing and communal eating following a cremation.  Ample car parking would also be provided.

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.

Commenting on the decision, the Spiritual Leader of Anoopam Mission, Param Puya Sahebji said: 


“We welcome this important decision and the opportunity for Anoopam Mission to serve the Hindu population of the UK.  Observing ‘antim sanskar’ or last rites in accordance with our Hindu customs and rituals provides liberation for the departed soul and peace of mind for families during a sensitive time.  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 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.   I congratulate the Anoopam Mission UK for persevering with this planning application and appeal.  The welcome judgment from the Planning Inspector recognises the very special circumstances that exist in meeting the unfulfilled needs of the Hindu community and I hope will enable other facilities to be considered in areas of high Hindu, Sikh and Jain population.” 

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