Plans to build a 45ft-tall Muslim memorial tomb on land designated as green belt in Lisvane will be discussed by Cardiff Council’s planning committee today.
The planning application, submitted by Cardiff-based developers DTB Design on behalf of applicant Sajid Gaffar, seeks permission to build a memorial mausoleum – or mizaar – on land at Pentwyn Farm, Graig-Llwyn Road, in Lisvane.
But planning officers will recommend that councillors refuse the proposals, on the grounds the development would cause “unacceptable harm” to the character and landscape of the area, with local residents and Lisvane’s ward member also opposed to the plans.
Planning documents show Mr Gaffar wants to build a private mausoleum in the middle of an open field about 100m from Pentwyn Farm, where he lives.
The mausoleum would be in honour of his father Abdul, who died last year and is buried on the land.
Under the Burial Laws Amendment Act, it is legal to bury loved ones on private land so long as the person responsible obtains a Certificate of Authority for burial from the Registrar of Births and Deaths.
The memorial structure, made out of concrete, masonry and timber, would be 44ft (13.5m) square, and stand 45ft (13.8m) tall to the top of a proposed spire – the same height as three double-decker buses. See drawings of the site and proposed mausoleum here.
The tomb would be private, with no public access, but Lisvane councillor David Walker has objected to the proposal due to concerns about its location and because the area is designated green belt land.
Two neighbouring households have also lodged objections, raising concerns that the mausoleum would be “totally out-of-keeping” with the rural nature of the area, and a petition of 66 signatures opposing the plans has been handed to Cardiff Council.
Lisvane Community Council says it too objects to the proposed tomb because the information on the application is insufficient, the mausoleum’s height would be intrusive, and the site is within the proposed green belt land.
But Mr Gaffar’s sister Shazaan said: “He was our father and we want to build this in his memory.
“It was his dying wish to be buried on this land and we want to honour that. It will be a fitting monument to him and the best way to celebrate his life.”
“He started out as a builder and he helped the community in a lot of ways.
“I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be allowe,d we aren’t anything doing illegal.”
The planning report due to go before the committee today tells councillors that planning policy says developments in the countryside should not be allowed unless it is essential for agriculture, forestry, minerals, recreation or tourism.
The report says: “Although there is no specific guidance to address the proposed use, policy is in place to protect the countryside from inappropriate development. It is considered that the proposed use does not fall with the categories typically associated with the countryside.”
See the full list of applications going before Cardiff Council’s planning committee today here.