by Gráinne Connolly
Plans to purchase land, adjacent to Clough Presbyterian Church in County Antrim, have been approved for the provision of a new cemetery.
If the plans receive full planning permission it would see a three acre area of land becoming a new cemetery on the Springmount Road in Clough.
Elected members approved the proposal to purchase the land at the monthly council meeting.
The existing cemetery in Clough has only 10 new plots left and due to the burial rate of two to four new plots sold per year it means the graveyard only has two to three years’ life span left.
Alderman Robin Cherry has welcomed the approval:
“We are mindful that the current cemetery may not last for much longer so I welcome these plans to purchase the land on the Springmount Road to ensure burial provisions for future generations.
“This proposal is an example of how the council is proactively utilising land interests to help support and facilitate the people in this area.
“The location is perfect in that it will offer a quiet, accessible space for loved ones to visit.”
The neighbouring Kirkinriola cemetery closed for use several years ago and with the pending closure of Clough cemetery, this would leave this rural area of the Borough with no local cemetery facilities.
The nearest cemetery provision is Ballymena on the Cushendall Road which has an approximate life span of 12 years left.
In 2016 the opportunity arose to acquire this land in Clough.
It was identified as an ideal site for the local community.
The site was tested for burial use and the rear two acres have been identified as suitable for burial use.
The front field of one acre facing onto Springmount Road was identified as unsuitable for burial use but would provide access to the rear land and car parking facilities.
Transport NI have indicated that an additional 50 parking spaces need to be created to cope with traffic issues in this rural location.