Council view sought on Moira Crematorium plan

THE VIEWS of Lisburn Councillors are being sought on a planning application for Northern Ireland’s second crematorium in Moira.

At Monday’s meeting of Lisburn Council’s Planning Committee, members were told the Strategic Planning division of the Department of Environment had requested the views of the Council about the controversial application, which was classed as ‘major’ last April by the DOE who applied Article 31 to it meaning it could be referred to a public inquiry.

The application by Mr D Lewis and Mr J Lewis in December 2010 for a cemetery and crematorium including access road, car parking and landscaping at lands opposite 3 and 5, Lisburn Road, Moira has raised questions amongst local people.

Alderman Paul Porter told Monday’s meering he believed “everyone should have their say”.

Alderman Jim Dillon suggested the Environment Minister be asked to hold his decision back for a month “so more feedback can be sought”.

“There is a dreadful problem of traffic in the morning and afternoon in Moira,” he said.

Mr Dillon said the views of local people must be taken into consideration.

Councillor Thomas Beckett pointed out that there are two nearby villages - Moira and Maghaberry - and “fears need to be alleviated”.

Councillor Paul Stewart proposed the committee support the application, subject to a very rigorous examination of all of the following areas: current development, the community need, environmental considerations such as noise, air pollution, quality standards and community consultation and traffic modelling.

“This will ensure the wider community/Council need for future burial requirements will have been assessed properly and rigorously.” he said.

This was seconded by Mr Porter and agreed. However, some members were concerned that the Minister wouldn’t be able to hold back for a month and it was suggested by Mr Porter and agreed that if the department could hold any decision from being made in the next month then the Council’s response would be held back until more feedback was received but if this wasn’t the case then a letter would be sent immediately.

Consultants have said there is a clear and identified need for additional cremation facilities in Northern Ireland.