Work on crematorium set to start next year
by JENNY MONROE
The site for the new crematorium at Moira
WORK on a new cemetery and crematorium i Moira will get underway around the middle of next year, the agent for the development has revealed.
Environment minister Alex Attwood approved a planning appplication for the scheme on land opposite land between 3 and 5 Lisburn Road, close to the Ml motorway this week.
It will include 9,000 burial plots, memorial gardens and landscaped parkland, According to the agent of the development, Les Ross of Ross Planning, work is not expected to get under way until mid 2013 as he expects details won't be finalised until at least the end of this year.
Mr Ross said: "It's been a long process and a difficult journey but we are delighted that outline planning permission has been approved.
It has been really well thought out"
The minister's decision had been welcomed by Lisburn councillors. Speaking at the council's Monthly meeting on Tuesday night Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Planning Committee, said: "Lisburn City Council has only a number of years left for burial space and this will help alleviate the need within our Council area. It is also very clear there is a need for another crematorium in Northern Ireland as some families have to wait up to eight days to have their loved one cremated and this new crematorium close to Moira roundabout is an ideal location geographically."
He continued: I am glad the decision makers took on board the issues we had raised as a Council around the traffic impact this would have for the local residents. I also believe that this will be a benefit to local businesses in the area such as cafes and restaurants.
"It is also my understanding that there was only one objection to this application and having been on the doors in Moira Village with MLA Edwin Poots and Councillor Paul Stewart in the last number of weeks, I can say this issue has not been mentioned by any of the residents."
Councillor Stewart also welcomed the decision. He said: "At our planning meeting at the end of last summer, I called for the council, who agreed, to ensure the Department considered a number of issues before making their decision.
"The Department has advised me they have considered all those and therefore I welcome the news.
"In addition this will create employment in our area and will we have a clear need for such a new facility as our current municipal cemetery provision in Lisburn City Council area equates to around 945 spaces which would provide 58 years of need within the Lisburn area."
The application. by Mr D Lewis and Mr J Lewis did not raise questions amongst local people but this week Environment Minister Alex Attwood said there was a need for a facility of this kind in the Lisburn area.
He said he had given careful consideration to the views of the local community, amongst others.
"I am satisfied that the development can be satisfactorily integrated into the surrounding environment without causing undue harm to existing residents," he said.
The 30-acre site would be backed by a £4m investment and include access roads and car parking. Northern Ireland currently only has one crematorium, at Roselawn just outside Belfast.