A massive extension to the cemetery at St Patrick’s Church in Keady has been proposed.
The Trustees of Keady Parish have lodged plans for the development in the hope of ensuring adequate provision in the town for many years to come.
An area to the rear of the church – described on papers as an “existing car park” – would be used to provide burial plots if approval is given.
It is bordered to the rear by St Francis of Assisi Primary School.
The extension to the cemetery, to the rear of the church on St Patrick’s Street, would stretch to over 7,000 sq metres.
And it would provide for over 1,500 future graves if plans as proposed are accepted.
The application has been made to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.
As part of the process, neighbours have been notified and the opinions of statutory bodies sought.
There already have been a number of issues which have been raised which will need to be explored in more depth as part of the process.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has advised that the “development has the potential to impact on water quality, especially groundwater”.
In correspondence to council, it is of the opinion that “additional information is required to assess this risk, including a site investigation, the annual anticipated burial rate and total number of burials”.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs also points to aerial photography records which show “mature trees on the site which have the potential to support a variety of species including but not limited to bats and wild birds”.
These “may be affected by” the plans, council has been informed.
Other agencies have still to respond to the plans which are now being advertised publicly.
Full consideration will be given to all responses and any additional information brought forward before a determination is made.