The move follows a decade-long project to secure a new site for burials due to capacity issues at the City Cemetery, which has been the resting place of over 77,000 local people for generations.
It has been confirmed that a previous scoping exercise honing in on a large site in the vicinity of Killea/ Nixon’s Corner on the outskirts of the city towards the border with Carrigans in Donegal has moved forward.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that it has recently completed on the acquisition of lands on the Mullenan Road “that will allow Council to plan the development of a new strategic cemetery on the west bank of the city”.
The spokesperson said: “This new cemetery would allow for a minimum of 20 years burial capacity with the potential for further expansion on to adjoining lands.”
The Council decision was made following over 10 years of extensive work by its in-house teams to ‘define, seek, investigate and assess’ a number of different sites on the west bank of the city.
“Following extensive technical reports and assessments it was agreed that the lands at Mullenan Road are the most suitable lands for this major development project.
“Council is at present working to secure planning permission for the development,” the spokesperson said.
The Council said it will engage “with all relevant stakeholders” in taking this strategic project forward.
A planning application to extend the existing City Cemetery on to lands at Southway meanwhile is to come before the Planning Committee at its January meeting in the coming weeks. This extension, the Council spokesperson said “would ensure that the cemetery has sufficient new graves capacity’, with 1,000 new plots expected to be created.
Works are expected to commence in spring 2022.
Burials in existing City Cemetery plots, the spokesperson for the Council added are “expected to continue well into the future”.
The City Cemetery opened in 1853, but is set to reach capacity within the next few years.