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Historic Co Armagh church given approval for 100-plot graveyard extension

According to the professional planners report the proposal was considered to "comply with relevant planning policies"

Plans by a rural County Armagh church for a graveyard extension have been given the go-ahead.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has given its blessing to the Select Vestry of Mullavilly Parish Church for its neceassary endeavours.

An application was made last year, seeking permission to ensure provision of an additional 100 burial plots.

The Church of Ireland congregation worships at an historic building on the Mullavilly Road, between Portadown and Tandragee, and serves the villages of Laurelvale and Mullavilly.

The existing graveyard is located next to the church building – which dates back to the mid-18th Century – but the Select Vestry is conscious of the need to plan for the future.

The extension will be located on an area described currently as “vacant maintained grassland around the parish centre”.

The new plots would be laid out in rows of 20.

An environmental and hydrogeological study was conducted on the site and the findings presented to council along with the application.

It reveals: “It is proposed there will be an annual burial rate of up to 10-20 per year as the demand for new plots is low, as it is tradition to use family plots within the existing cemetery.

“In addition, the proposed extension is located immediately adjacent to the existing cemetery which has been in use for over 100 years.”

According to the professional planners report, the proposal was considered to “comply with relevant planning policies”.

Officials recommended, and council has agreed, that the proposals be approved.

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