Cemetery planning sought by developer

by Gazette Reporter
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FINGAL County Council has received a planning application for a 5,000-plot cemetery on lands at Priorstown House in Scribblestown, Castleknock.
Versonwood Ltd (in receivership) has applied for permission to change the use of residential premises to cemetery and associated facilities.
The proposed development includes creating a caretaker’s living facility and converting the existing outbuilding to form a crematorium, create a car park to accommodate 114 vehicles, with a further 45 vehicle spaces in an overflow car park, plus seven designated spaces for staff parking.
The new cemetery will accommodate 5,000 grave plots.
Cllr David McGuinness (FF) said residents have campaigned for years for this service to be provided. He said this may just be the solution for all concerned, adding that there is need for an increase in grave plots for a greater Blanchardstown population which has grown to over 100,000 people.
“Residents have always made the case, particularly in the Castleknock region, that a cemetery close to their homes was the ideal solution to an issue which has caused significant anxiety due to the ever-increasing age profile in the community,” said Cllr McGuinness.
Meanwhile, vehicular access will be restored to Mulhuddart Cemetery on Sundays after the community put pressure on Fingal County Council to make a u-turn on proposals to close it all day.
The council recently put opening restrictions in place closing vehicular traffic access Monday to Saturday from 5pm to 8am and all day on Sunday.
The closure on Sundays sparked outrage among the community, and many voiced their opposition to the council and thousands signed a petition to have it reopened on Sundays.
This week, the council have said vehicular gates will remain open until 5pm on Sundays.
In a report to councillors at a recent area committee meeting, a council spokesperson said: “The access and opening arrangements for Mulhuddart Cemetery are currently under review following the recent decision to have the main vehicular gates closed at specified time in an effort to control high levels of littering and anti-social behaviour in the area, particularly at weekends.
“A solution to the problem of Sunday vehicular access using existing staff resources is being pursued. The internal discussions in this regard are at an early stage and a further report will be brought to the area Committee once the matter has been resolved. In the meantime the vehicular gates will open until 5pm on Sundays,” the report added.
Speaking at the recent meeting, Cllr David McGuinness (FF) said this will be seen as a welcome development, particularly for those who have deceased loved-ones at that cemetery.
Cllr Kieran Dennison (FG) said he is “delighted” it will reopen on Sundays, while Socialist Party Cllr Ruth Coppinger welcomed the decision but said the council should have discussed the plans with local councillors first.
Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty (Lab) said this news is a “tremendous victory” for people power. “The entire community should be very proud for signing petitions, organising protests and contacting the local council. It shows that when people in the local area get organised and work together on an issue, we can force, whether it is the local council or the government, to change their mind whether they like it or not.”

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