DERRY City Council is to begin looking for extra burial land as the City Cemetery is expected to reach capacity in the next ten years.

The admission came at a council meeting last week during a discussion on the planned expansion of the cemetery.

At the meeting, it emerged that council had successfully tackled the outbreak of a harmful plant species at the City Cemetery, which had halted progress on a new phase of development which aimed at creating 1,000 new burial plots at the site.

That new phase of land will now go ahead, will council now ready to issue tenders for its development.

However, councillors were warned that the 1,000 new spaces will only provide enough burial space for the next ten years on the West Bank of Derry.

Speaking at the Thursday afternoon’s meeting of council’s Environmental Services Committee, the Strategic Director, John Kelpie said that council would now begin to look for new burial lands on the cityside.

Responding to a question from Sinn Fein councillor Mickey Cooper regarding new cemetery space on the cityside, Mr Kelpie said that council had a ‘rolling programme of initiatives’ regarding the issue.

“The first is to maximise the space we have,” Mr Kelpie replied.

“And we then need to secure future land for burial on the West Bank, and we now need to look at securing that extra land.”

He added that with regards to the new phase of the City Cemetery, residents of the Lone Moor Road area had received an update on a previous consultation exercise, while a tender to advance the works was also being issued.

Mr Kelpie also revealed that council were also launching a feasibility study into whether a crematorium catering for the Derry City Council and district area is to proceed.

The chair of the committee, SDLP councillor Sean Carr, welcomed the news of the feasibility study into a crematorium.

Cllr Carr has been a long time support of the construction of a crematorium in Derry.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] or [email protected] at any time.