Island cemetery expansion to be progressed this summer

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A planned expansion at Islandmagee cemetery is to be progressed this summer, Mid and East Antrim councillors have heard.

The proposal was outlined at Monday night’s meeting of the Operational Committee, alongside plans for the demolition of the existing cemetery house to provide 90 additional graves.

Land to the rear of the cemetery had been purchased by Larne Borough Council in 2007, with planning permission granted in 2010. Permission is due to expire this August.

At the meeting, members agreed to note the progression of the proposed extension. They also agreed to grant approval for the demolition of the cemetery house and a change of use for the site to cemetery provision.

“Progression of the cemetery extension will commence by August 2015 to ensure the planning permission is maintained. The Capital Project Team has been informed, briefed and are make the necessary plans to commence work,” a members’ report read.

“The sale of the house and garden is not considered the best option and given the continued demand for cemetery space, it is more beneficial to demolish the dilapidated house, which is in a dangerous condition, and seek planning approval for a change of land use to cemetery space.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Mark McKinty suggested the council consider installing a “corner or garden” to remember those whose remains had been cremated.