An extension being carried out to Ballymena Cemetery will see an additional 875 graves made available at the Cushendall Road site.
The first phase of the extension comprising 376 new graves should be available from mid-December.
Details of the project were contained in minutes of a Council committee meeting which was held last month when discussion on the matter was held in private but came before the October monthly meeting, last Monday night, for ratification.
The Cushendall Road site closed for the sale of new graves prior to 2005 with burials since then only in existing plots.
One of 16 cemeteries for which Council is responsible across the borough, 12, including Cushendall Road, are ‘traditional’ as opposed to ‘lawn’ type.
It was pointed out to councillors that the separation of the main part of the cemetery from the extension by the existing boundary wall would allow for the new area to be of either style without impacting on the original.
They were reminded that an economic appraisal carried out in October, 2011, examined both options and concluded that there was now a broad acceptance of the lawn style by the public.
Opting for the more modern style was subsequently agreed by the committee on the proposal of Alderman James Henry, seconded by Alderman Martin Clarke with the undertaking that the maintenance of that style would be “strictly policed”.
It was also decided to sell the new graves at the time of burial as is the case in other local cemeteries of limited capacity and that people who wished to pre-purchase could do so at Ballee, Cullybackey, Portglenone and Ahoghill cemeteries.