Councillor James Tinsley said that a meeting with Belfast City Council last Friday, has allayed any fears that residents may have over a new 100 acre ‘super cemetery’ site in Dundrod.
A group of residents, along with MP William McCrea and Mr Tinsley met with the Director of Parks and Leisure Department Andrew Hazzard of Belfast City Council who told them that they had been looking at ways of resolving burial issues in the city for four years.
He said that after an exhaustive search they found suitable land near the Ulster Grand Prix site at Dundrod.
However, he assured them that even if the plans were given the go ahead, an extension at Roselawn Cemetery would already resolve burial land problems in the city, for the next 35 years.
Planners received an application for 10 Quarterlands Road recently which is part of the the new 100 acre site. The application will include a new access right turn land and visibility splays.
Mr Tinsely said: “We had a very useful and informative meeting that was held on Friday evening in Belfast with Mr Andrew Hazzard, Director of Parks and Leisure Department, Belfast City Council.
“We took the opportunity to raise serious concerns that the residents of this area had raised with ourselves.
“We let Mr Hazzard know that this proposal was not suitable for this area for various reasons, not least the traffic impact this would have on the local population and the difficulties with winter weather conditions.”
Mr Tinsley went onto say that Mr Hazzard had been looking at burial sites for the past four years and said he hoped to bring it to a conclusion in early Autumn.
“We emphasised the fact that residents were very disappointed that they were never kept informed about the proposal and only got to hear about it when a planning application was lodged in May for a right hand turning lane and an article in a Sunday paper where a Belfast councillor was welcoming the proposal,” Mr Tinsley said.
“Mr Hazzard informed us that Belfast City Council have already acquired extra land at Roselawn Cemetery that should fulfil their requirements for at least 35 years.”
Mr Tinsley said that Mr Hazzard agreed to keep residents informed of any decisions that will be made and reach and if needs be, we will organise a public meeting in the future.
Other sites that had been looked at by the Belfast City Council included locations at Hightown, Newtownabbey, and Drumbeg, but ultimately ruled out. Another site at Lisleen on the outskirts of east Belfast was also dismissed after extensive surveys.