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Telford mosque given funeral permissions

Funeral preparations can be carried out on the site of a mosque, after planning permission was granted to install mortuary equipment.

The Shropshire Islamic Foundation applied to carry out pre-funeral rituals in what is currently a warehouse behind Telford Central Mosque, Wellington.

Telford and Wrekin Council’s planning department approved the change-of-use proposal, which also involves dividing the building’s main room in two and installing new doors.

The approval notice, published by the planning department, explains that the changes will allow family members to wash, shroud and pray with the deceased ahead of the funeral, in line with Islamic tradition. Embalming and autopsies will not be carried out there, it adds.

The plans were submitted on behalf of Shropshire Islamic Foundation trustee Rashid Hussain by Market Drayton-based planning agent Robert Metcalfe of EMS Design Ltd. Blueprints included in the application show a cool room, sink and table with electric hoist to be installed at the King Street site.

The approval notice, dated Thursday, May 14, says “full planning permission for the installation of mortuary equipment and change of use from storage to funeral facilities including preparation, prayer rooms, function rooms with external alterations to front elevation” was sought.

“The building will be converted from a storage area into an area where funeral preparations and funerals can be carried out,” it adds.

“Within the Islamic religion, there is a ritual where close same-sex family members will prepare the body prior to the funeral taking place.

“This includes the washing of the body and shrouding the body before prayers and the funeral take place.

“The building subject to this application will be where the preparation of the body takes place and where prayers take place before the funeral.

“There will be no embalming, autopsies or similar procedures carried out on the premises.”

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