A Harrow MP lent his support to plans for a crematorium attached to a Hindu temple, despite concerns around the impact it will have on green belt land.

Bob Blackman, who represents Harrow East, has backed the application by the Anoopam Mission, based at the Swaminarayan Temple, in Denham, near Uxbridge.

Buckinghamshire Council officers noted the plans for the crematorium would constitute an “inappropriate development” and result in a “loss of openness and encroachment into the green belt”.

However, Mr Blackman said an application of this type is necessary, given the lack of current available options to the Hindu community.

He said: “At the time of the 2015 budget, there were numerous calls for a review into the size and provision of crematoria facilities to make sure they are fit for purpose and sensitive to the needs of all users and faiths.

“A consultation was launched, and the findings recommended that there exists specific issues in areas of the country where there exists a high percentage of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains where crematoriums are not equipped to handle demand, iconography, and other appropriate amenities.

“The proposed crematorium directly addresses the concerns of the report through the provision of bespoke facilities on site which is extremely appropriate and ideally located.”

Temple representatives have also stressed this position, noting current crematoria facilities are inadequate to cater for the “large number of attendees a Hindu funeral may attract”.

They added it would be used by communities in the wider area, including those in Harrow and Brent, with claims the location is within a one-hour drive of more than half the UK’s Hindu population.

The temple is located on the northern side of Western Avenue, within Colne Valley Park and adjacent to the River Misbourne.

Its plans for the crematorium include two waiting rooms, two private ritual rooms, a large ceremony hall, a crematory hall, a canteen with 100-seat capacity, and showering facilities.

As well as Mr Blackman’s support, the proposals have the backing of a more than 2,000-signature petition, while objections are largely from Denham Parish Council.

The application will be discussed by the Buckinghamshire Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (September 1).