A site has been identified on the outskirts of Derry for a new municipal cemetery to service the city.
The move comes after the Derry News revealed earlier this year that ‘shortlist’ of sites has been identified by Derry City and Strabane District Council to facilitate the development of a Municipal Cemetery.
The Derry News has now learned that tests have been carried out at a site in the Killea area (pictured above) on the outskirts of the city to determine whether it would be suitable.
It is understood that the 200 acre site, which is situated close to a church, is now being considered as the preferred location for the new cemetery.
The council had previously warned that the City Cemetery on Lone Moor Road, which was extended in 2014, will reach full capacity within five years.
There are currently more than 77,200 people buried in the cemetery.
In February, the council issued an advert seeking expressions of interest from ‘owners of lands on the west bank of Derry City to facilitate the development of a Municipal Cemetery’.
The value of the tender was £250,000 with the contract to last six months.
In a statement issued to the Derry News, a spokesperson for the council would not confirm if the Killea site was being considered as the preferred location for the facility.
“Council is currently progressing with plans to develop a new municipal cemetery within the wider cityside area of Derry city and recently received a number of submissions following a recent call for expressions of interest from those with lands available that could suit this purpose,” the spokesperson said.
“A shortlist of sites has now been identified and further research is now taking place to scope the suitability of each site.”
Speaking to the Derry News yesterday, the independent councillor Sean Carr, who also works as funeral director, welcomed the progress.
“The Killea site is only three miles outside the city, and it has the capacity needed,” he said.
“Even though it might be outside of the city itself, people should keep in mind that it’s only a ten minute drive away, and would provide enough burial space for decades.”
He also called on the council to ensure that the development of a new crematorium remained a ‘priority’.
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