More space for worship advised

By Leon Symons, January 15, 2009

New housing developments should have a specific area set aside to create facilities for faith communities, according to a newly-published report.

Construction companies should be told that they must set aside half a hectare (1.23 acres) of empty land in developments to enable faith communities to erect their own buildings, said Cambridgeshire Horizons, the organisation which produced the report “Building for Faith in the Future” and which is responsible for identifying new communities in the East Anglian county.

The main Jewish Orthodox and non-Orthodox communities in Cambridge have contributed to the report, along with Christians, Muslims, Baha’i and Hindus, and the East of England Faiths Council (EEFC).

EEFC’s Jenny Kartupelis said: “Different places have taken different approaches as to how faith communities can fit into new developments but this is the first time a standard approach has been put forward.

“We believe that having faith facilities on a new development would improve community cohesion and that makes new developments much more attractive to people living there.”

She said it was important that faith groups negotiated among themselves over the best ways of making use of land to meet their different needs.

Last updated: 10:31am, January 15 2009