Council to progress cemetery extension

Carnmoney Cemetery.
Carnmoney Cemetery.

The council’s Development Committee has approved an economic appraisal which could lead to the development of a £240,000 extension at Carnmoney Cemetery.

While the local authority’s search for suitable land for new burial space is continuing at several sites around the borough, the plan to extend Carnmoney Cemetery along O’Neill Road should provide a temporary solution, creating around 500 new grave plots.

At their monthly meeting last Tuesday night (September 10), members were informed that Doran Consulting have been appointed to detail the design and supervise the extension works.

A report submitted to the meeting stated: “A planning application was submitted in June 2013 for this development. As part of the planning process, further ground investigations and risk assessments are required to determine the suitability of the site for burials in line with Northern Ireland Environment Agency requirements. The cost of this assessment is £4,071 and the estimated cost for the extension is £240,000. However, the results of the assessment may impact on the cost should additional works be required.”

It continued: “Members are reminded that the Medium Term Financial Plan for the period 2013/14 to 2015/16 contained a proposed £2m capital project to commence in 2014/15 for a new cemetery, subject to the preparation of an economic appraisal and approval by council. As the extension to Carnmoney Cemetery would provide additional cemetery space, a proportion of the proposed £2m could be spent earlier than planned in 2013/14, with the balance to be spent in 2014/15 on a new cemetery subject to council approval.”

Committee members approved the economic appraisal for the proposed extension.

They agreed that the budget required be met from funds previously earmarked for the new cemetery, and that £4,071 be spent carrying out a site risk assessment as part of the extension project.

The committee’s decisions still have to be ratified when full council meets on September 30.

Meanwhile, during the same meeting, aldermen and councillors were informed that investigations and assessments are continuing at several potential new cemetery sites across the borough - on private and council-owned land.