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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

New £2.1 million cemetery planned for Larne

A planning application has been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for a new £2.1m cemetery at Old Glenarm Road in Larne.

The council believes that the new 15-acre site can facilitate 4,700 plots.

It will be located on the right side of the road towards Ballygally and is expected to meet the town’s burial needs for the next century.

The local authority has been searching for a suitable new site for the past 20 years. The town’s main Greenland Cemetery in Craigyhill is expected to reach capacity in four years with 250 plots remaining.

Previously, the council had agreed to purchase a site at Brustin Brae Road, which was described as “ideal” due to its proximity to the town’s main denominations but further explorations ruled that the groundwater system was “unsatisfactory”.

In the mid-90s, the council purchased a field from a parish adjacent to the existing Greenland Cemetery in Craigyhill but this “proved to be an unsuitable site”.

Potential sites at Kilwaughter, Ballyboley Road, Millbrook, Drumalis and Lealies Drive in Antiville were investigated but had been ruled out.

The current application includes plans for a memorial garden, parking provision, public toilets as well as a bus stop and right hand turning lane access from Old Glenarm Road. Talks have been taking place with Translink over a possible extension of a town service bus route to the facility.

Councillors have agreed that a memorial garden for parents who have experienced baby loss will be included in the proposals and similar provision is to be made in the new cemetery earmarked for Carrickfergus at Trooperslane.

The new Larne cemetery will be located opposite 382 Old Glenarm Road. Plots will not be able to be purchased in advance.

Commenting during an online public consultation earlier this year, Philip Thompson, the council’s Operations Director, said:

“I accept we are moving out of the town development limits. Every cemetery has to be provided outside limits to get the area of land needed.

“We want to work to deliver something that is satisfactory and suitable for the town.”

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