Council refuses permission for private graveyard

A parish priest is among those disappointed over the refusal of planning permission for the first privately operated graveyard in Cork.

Council refuses permission for private graveyard

Fr John Newman said the decision will deprive parishioners of the right to be buried in their own locality.

Developer Dave McCarthy plans to appeal Cork County Council’s refusal of permission for the proposed 400-plot graveyard at Rathcooney, Glanmire.

Fr Newman had written a letter to the local authority supporting Mr McCarthy’s application.

He said the proposal had widespread local support as there were no new plots available in local graveyards.

Yesterday, Glanmire-based Fr Newman reiterated his support, saying he was “disappointed” over the lack of plots.

He said many people who had lived in Glanmire all their lives were being buried several miles away, at St Catherine’s Cemetery in Kilcully or even further afield.

Fr Newman said elderly relatives were unable to easily visit graveyards which were a distance from their homes.

Mr McCarthy, meanwhile, said he was also “very disappointed” by the council’s decision and would shortly lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.

Mr McCarthy, who also lives locally, said his family had links, going back 100 years, with the old Rathcooney Cemetery which is at capacity. However, he said there are other families who have longer associations with Rathcooney.

The developer said he had started pre-planning discussions with the local authority as far back as Feb 2011 and had put a lot of time and money into presenting a plan which he thought would be acceptable.

His architect, Conor O’Sullivan of CSOA, said comprehensive traffic impact assessments had been carried out as well as hydrogeological assessments.

“We initially looked at creating 600 burial plots on the site but downgraded that to 400 when the council requested we include enough car parking space for 100 cars,” Mr McCarthy said.

Mr O’Sullivan added that the council had initially sought a clear 80m “sightline” for traffic on either side of the entrance to the proposed graveyard.

“This would have involved us taking out a bend in the road, which we were prepared to do,” he said.

However, the council’s decision to turn down planning was then made on the basis that the sightline should be 90m at minimum and preferably 120m.

Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher and Labour senator John Gilroy, who both live in the Glanmire area, had supported Mr McCarthy’s plans, on the basis that people living there should have the option of being buried there.

Mr Gilroy said he was annoyed at the decision as Glanmire badly needed the facility.

“This was a proposal which would have greatly benefited the community and I can’t understand why it has been turned down,” he said.

“I hear there is some suggestion that locals may get a petition together on this. I would expect thousands to put their signatures to it and I would certainly be one of the first.”

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