Clough Cemetery extension plan approved

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A new extension to Clough Cemetery was approved by Mid and East Antrim Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday.

The proposed site is located adjacent to the existing cemetery at Springmount Road outside the village on council-owned land. In March, councillors were advised there were 48 unsold plots remaining in Clough Cemetery.

Principal planning officer Gary McGuinness told the committee there are ruins of an old church which was constructed in the 1600s on-site.

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Mr McGuinness said the proposed extension could accommodate 280 graves. Paths and an improved entrance are also planned. The development will include re-surfacing of the access road and car park and new pathways through the existing graveyard.

Clough Cemetery. Pic: Mid and East Antrim Borough CouncilClough Cemetery. Pic: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Clough Cemetery. Pic: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

He added the proposal presented “no unacceptable risk” to ground water. There were no objections to the application.

A report to the committee said: “The expansion of an existing cemetery into an adjoining field is considered to be a necessary community facility to serve the local rural population. Advice has been taken from DAERA who are satisfied that the proposal is not likely to have any significant adverse effect on the natural environment.

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“The proposed extension is considered proportionate to the existing cemetery and is of similar lay-out . The site is set back from the public road. The site is not clearly visible from Springmount or Manse Roads.”

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The report also stated it is of a scale “appropriate to its rural location”. “Upgrade works in relation to the existing cemetery are considered to be acceptable.”

Knockagh Alliance Councillor Aaron Skinner proposed accepting the recommendation for planning permission, seconded by Bannside DUP Alderman Tom Gordon. It was approved unanimously.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter