Council seeks legal advice regarding crematorium plan

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Newtownabbey councillors are to hold a special meeting to discuss proposals regarding the possible provision of a crematorium within the borough.

Plans are already in the pipeline which could see a crematorium built on council-owned land opposite Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre on the Doagh Road.

However, at their January meeting, members of the council’s Development Committee were informed that two of the potential development options - involving a partnership approach with Belfast City Council - are no longer feasible.

Cogent Management Consulting was tasked to undertake financial and operational modelling of the shortlisted options.

The modelling exercise was informed by site visits to various facilities in the south of England in October 2013.

A report presented to the Development Committee stated: “Members will be aware that the council worked in partnership with Belfast City Council to commission this research and agreed to wait for feedback from them prior to taking a decision on the way forward. Correspondence has confirmed that Belfast City Council agreed at their monthly meeting on January 6, 2014 to: note the findings of the report; will not at this point pursue any of the options for the development of a new crematorium with Newtownabbey Borough Council; agree that a strategic outline case for the redevelopment and refurbishment of Roselawn Crematorium be developed for consideration by the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee.”

The decision by Belfast Council means local representatives now have two options to consider in terms of taking forward a crematorium plan - a private sector development or a public/private sector partnership.

Committee members agreed to seek procurement and legal advice on the matter and hold a special meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward.