£5m Newtownabbey crematorium project moves to ‘procurement stage’

An artist's impression of the new crematorium on the Doagh Road site.An artist's impression of the new crematorium on the Doagh Road site.
An artist's impression of the new crematorium on the Doagh Road site. | Other 3rd Party
Plans for a new £5m crematorium in Newtownabbey have been progressed at a remote meeting of the borough council.

The meeting last week behind closed doors with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s chief executive Jacqui Dixon was attended by party group leaders, DUP mayor Alderman John Smyth and Independent Ballyclare Councillor Michael Stewart.

The crematorium was listed on the agenda to be discussed in committee.

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After the meeting, a spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “The decision was taken to progress to the procurement stage for the proposed crematorium at the Doagh Road site.”

A business plan will now be produced to move the development forward.

Commenting after the meeting, Glengormley SDLP Councillor Noreen McClelland said: “Hopefully in the future there will be a crematorium on the Doagh Road.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council already has outline planning permission for a new state of the art crematorium at Doagh Road, Newtownabbey.

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Previously, it had been suggested that work on the new crematorium would commence this month and be completed in May 2021.

However, DUP Threemilewater Councillor Stephen Ross has urged the local authority to “step back” and talk to residents who will be affected by siting a crematorium at this location.

“I would like them to stop, step back, get a business plan in place, talk to residents who will be affected and if they are happy, then move forward.”

He said that he knows families who have moved from the area as a result of the plans.

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He also queried the timing of the crematorium being placed on the agenda at a time when “emotions are running high” and he criticised what he described as a “lack of engagement with the community and a lack of engagement with councillors” on the proposal.

Cllr Ross stated: “There was no need for that to come forward any time soon. There was no reason for it to come forward until it could be scrutinised properly and to have debate.

“That is what I have been elected to do. That is what the people of Threemilewater have asked me to do.”

He has also called for a business plan and a full breakdown of finances on the cost of the new crematorium.

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When the new facility is up and running, it is expected to be available for cremations to people across Northern Ireland.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

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