Public urged to give their views on Derry & Strabane Cemetery Management Plan

Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) are looking for public feedback on how Council-owned cemeteries are managed to ensure users and staff are treated with dignity and respect.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 8:28 am

The new consultation, in the form of a short online survey, gives people the chance to give their views on the Council’s Cemetery Management Plan.

The purpose of the plan, which provides guidance and regulations relating to burials and cemeteries under the management of DCSDC, is to ensure that they are safe places to work and visit.

Encouraging the public to take part in the survey, John Quinn, Streetscape & Cemeteries Manager with DCSDC said:

Derry’s City Cemetery. DER1720GS - 014

“All of our cemetery staff are committed to providing this essential frontline service to the public.

“We have a very experienced and committed team who work with care and empathy to provide burial services to the entire community in a dignified and respectful manner.

“We hope that this Cemetery Management plan and consultation process will give the public an insight into the important role we carry out.”

John Quinn explained that Council, as the burial authority in control of cemeteries in Derry and Strabane, has developed this plan to assist the public with arranging a burial in a Council cemetery, providing information on the restrictions and conditions that apply to purchasing exclusive rights of burial and ensuring a high level of service is provided. The document includes details of the public’s rights and responsibilities in relation to the cemetery provision service.

By embarking on the consultation process, Council hope that the public will give their feedback to ensure that Council delivers on its commitment to ensuring all who visit or use these facilities are treated with dignity and respect and in an environment maintained to a standard appropriate for the purpose of burial.

The short online survey is available via the Council’s website at www.derrystrabane.com/cemeteries and is open for a 12-week period until September 15.

Derry City and Strabane District Council are also currently looking at a number of options to extend burial capacity within the Derry City area.

One of the options being taken forward by Council is to extend the existing City Cemetery onto the wooded lands at Southway, south of Kildrum Gardens.

The proposed scheme is seen as critical to extending the short term burial capacity within the City Cemetery and will also help facilitate Council with the transition from the existing City Cemetery to a new greenfield cemetery facility elsewhere within the Council area.

The proposal will allow Council to increase the capacity of the existing City Cemetery by circa 1,000 plots, which will increase the lifespan of the existing site for new openings by approximately five years. As well as this, Council intend to purchase a large proportion of the remaining Woodland Trust site at Southway and develop a Biodiversity Management Plan which will enhance the existing wildlife, flora and fauna within the area.

The current estimated costs of the works is £1.4 million.

The plans include compensatory planting to encourage use of site by Red Squirrels; New access road to the existing cemetery from Southway; Biodiversity Management Plan for the existing Woodland Trust Site; Benches and seating areas.