Newtownabbey Council is to initiate a public consultation process over plans for a multi-million pound crematorium development at Ballyearl.
At their monthly meeting on Monday night (June 16), members of the local authority’s Development Committee approved planning and legal matters necessary to move the project forward. They also agreed to begin consultation with local residents.
At a special council meeting earlier this year, members were informed that building a crematorium on the council-owned site at Doagh Road, opposite Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre, could cost around £5million.
At that stage it was agreed that the project should be progressed as a Public Private Partnership, whereby the land will be sold or leased to a private company which will construct and run the facility.
Members were advised that such a venture would minimise costs to ratepayers and bring money in to the council through rent and income from cremations and memorials.
On Monday evening, having viewed a planning consultant’s potential design for the site, committee members agreed that the land at Doagh Road be declared surplus to requirements – a necessary move to allow lease or sale of the site – and that an outline planning application for the project be submitted to Planning Service.
It was also agreed that a public consultation exercise be undertaken with local residents and that law firm A & L Goodbody be appointed to assist the council to procure a suitable organisation to finance, design, build and operate the crematorium.
Committee members passed the recommendations without debate.
It’s understood that tree planting to screen the site will take place this autumn.
The committee’s decisions have to be ratified when the full council meets on June 30.