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New Newtownabbey crematorium to nearly double fee for non-residents

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Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast operates a two-tier pricing system

Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast operates a two-tier pricing system

Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast operates a two-tier pricing system

Pricing for future cremations in Antrim and Newtownabbey has been approved by the local council.

A new crematorium is being planned for Doagh Road in Newtownabbey, costing an estimated £5m.

The local authority is adopting a 'two-tier' pricing policy for residents and non-residents.

The latter is set to be charged almost double, higher than Roselawn's current rates for those who live outside the Belfast area.

Rates for the new crematorium in Newtownabbey have been agreed at £475 for residents and £800 for non-residents.

Roselawn Crematorium's fees are £400 and £650 respectively for residents and non-residents of Belfast City Council district.

A two-tier pricing strategy already exists for the sale of burial rights at council cemeteries in Antrim and Newtownabbey at a cost of £580 for residents, and a non-resident rate of £2,800.

New plots for burials at Carnmoney Cemetery in Newtownabbey will only be available until June or July this year.

Residents of Antrim and Newtownabbey will be referred to a cemetery in either Ballyclare, Rashee, Crumlin, Sixmile or Antrim thereafter.

The council has 56 new burial plots left in Carnmoney Cemetery, although Carnmoney will continue to be available for additional burials in graves already allocated. The council has predicted that the new crematorium will be operational Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for at least the first eight years.

It agreed that the procurement process should commence following a meeting behind closed doors last month, meaning that a business plan will now be produced to move the development forward.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council already has outline planning permission for the crematorium.

Plans for the crematorium were not supported by DUP Threemilewater councillor Stephen Ross.

He urged the local authority to "step back" and talk to residents who will be affected by siting a crematorium at this location.

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

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

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

Mr Ross added: "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."

DUP Glengormley councillor Alison Bennington's objection to the item, which was heard in confidence, was also recorded.

The council has also agreed to identify the supplier and product for the crematorium in advance of the finalisation of the design of the facility.

Belfast Telegraph