New cemetery proposed on former primary school site outside Antrim

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A planning application has been submitted to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for a new graveyard outside Antrim.

The application has been made for a proposed change of use at the site of the former St Macnissi’s Primary School, at Chapeltown Road, Tannaghmore to a parish cemetery with car parking.

A design and access statement says: “Since St Macnissi’s Primary School closed in March 2020, there has been a growing desire within the local community to explore the possibility of utilising the 1.17 hectare site as a cemetery.

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“Local parishioners met to discuss the future of the school site. At the meeting, they gave consideration to the fact that the only graveyard dedicated to parishioners in Antrim Parish is at St Comgall’s Church in Antrim and it is now completely full.

Former St Macnissi’s Primary School, Chapeltown Road, Antrim. Pic: Google MapsFormer St Macnissi’s Primary School, Chapeltown Road, Antrim. Pic: Google Maps
Former St Macnissi’s Primary School, Chapeltown Road, Antrim. Pic: Google Maps

“With an average of approximately 70 burials per year in Antrim Parish, local parishioners agreed that there was an urgent need to identify a site for a new parish cemetery and concluded that the St Macnissi’s Primary School site had the potential to provide a solution to this problem.”

Tannaghmore is part of the Antrim Parish and St Macnissi’s Church is located to the south of the school site on the opposite side of Chapeltown Road.

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“It is intended that the existing road access would continue to be used with the former staff car park also being made available at busy times or when funerals are taking place with this area directly connected to the cemetery via a pedestrian gate,” the report said.

“With a large grass area making up a high proportion of the school site and much of the required parking currently in place, the site already has much of the infrastructure in place for the development of a new a cemetery,” it was also noted.

There are currently no plans to develop or utilise the existing school building as part of the cemetery development.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter