A new cemetery being planned for Oswaldtwistle will be open to people of all faiths, a foundation spokesperson has clarified.

A planning application has been registered with Hyndburn Council for the formation of ‘35,000 burial plots’ by the Issa Foundation for the Issa Memorial Garden (Muslim Cemetery & Pavilion). It will be located off Blackburn Road, near West End Business Park.

In a statement released today the Issa Foundation said it wished to clarify that whilst the plans aim to address the shortage of Muslim burial plots in the area, the cemetery would accommodate ‘people of all faiths and backgrounds’ and ‘meet the needs of all communities’.

The foundation also said it would continue to address any concerns local people may have.

A spokesman for the Issa Foundation said: “We would like to confirm the Issa Memorial Garden located off Blackburn Road, near West End Business Park will be developed to meet the needs of all communities that wish to be buried at the site and will accommodate people from all faiths and backgrounds.

“Effective landscaping and pathways, accommodate transport connectivity and car parking, continued public access and providing safe, secure facilities will also be key proponents of the design and development of this public space.

“We will continue to work with the various stakeholders to ensure the scheme effectively addresses concerns presented to date.”

The application site covers an area of 84 acres with a provision for 663 car parking spaces spanning the full length of the site’s northern boundary, parallel with Blackburn Road.

The cemetery planning application says the site will see ‘extensive landscaping, both of a strategic and ornamental nature’ and ‘levelling is required to allow for the formation of level graves and retaining structures will be necessary to the south side of the southern most road.’ In addition to this, a main administration single-storey building will house the ‘funeral parlour’. A staff and general maintenance building and a separate equipment store building, both of which are two storeys, will also be constructed.

The planning statement adds: “The buildings will be constructed predominantly from natural stone.

“Their overall appearance is contemporary, simplistic and of a high quality architectural finish, yet respecting local character through the use of locally distinctive materials.”

The applications says ‘proceeds from the business will be utilised to provide ongoing funeral services and none of the directors or the volunteers will benefit financially from the service it offers’.

The Issa Foundation was established in 2016 and has in the past made donations to local hospitals including £350,000 ELHT&me - the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.