A 12-week public consultation on a new Larne cemetery is to take place ahead of a planning application expected to be made in May, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been told.
The £2.1m cemetery is planned for land at Old Glenarm Road adjacent to Carnfunnock Country Park.
If the proposal is given the go-ahead by the local authority’s Planning Committee, it will be located on the right side of the road towards Ballygally to accommodate between 4,000 and 6,000 plots.
The council anticipates that the new facility will have a capacity to meet burial requirements for the next 80 years while the town’s main cemetery in Craigyhill is expected to reach capacity in four years with 250 plots remaining.
Welcoming the development at a remote meeting of the borough council on Monday evening, Larne Lough DUP Councillor Gregg McKeen said: “I am delighted we have got to this stage. I think the whole key to this consultation is getting the message out there. I am glad the clergy are on board.”
He urged “as wide a participation from the public as possible through the churches”.
Coast Road Alliance Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna welcomed the “excellent progress” noting that the process has “been going on forever”.
Coast Road Ulster Unionist Councillor Maureen Morrow added: “It is very important to people in Larne. This has been going on for 12 to 14 years. The council kept coming up against brick wall after brick wall.”
Previously, the local authority had been considering a location at Brustin Brae Road.
The plan was shelved in 2015 after a number of issues were investigated following a groundwater survey at the proposed site. Residents had concerns regarding poor roads infrastructure, parking, public safety, litter, pollution and privacy.
Cllr Morrow continued: “It is great to have the ministers on board because if they are happy with it, they will send that through their congregations. Hopefully we will get support for it.”