and District Residents' Association
Stag in garden off the Drumbeg Road. February 2012.
photo by Irene MacWilliam
.....Stag in Rural Cottages
on 9th April 2012.
by Aidan McFall
TABLE FOR DRUMBEG - 2012
Belfast Parks, Lagan Valley Regional Park and
Drumbeg residents are to create a 'Bird Table' in the field
upstream of Drum Bridge - the area that had horses and is liable
The 'Bird Table' will be an area devoted to seeded plants and
wild flowers to attract a variey of birds.
Application for Boarding Kennels.
Published in the week ending the 11th February 2011 in the
local press. Drumvale Farm, 155 Ballyskeagh ~Road, Drumbeg
Proposed change of use from Agriculatural Storage Shed to
Boarding Kennels with associated site works.
poet and author Colin
Sloan publishes his latest book
available from Waterstones
for Nursing Home at Lagan Valley Equestrian Centre, Lagan Valley
A planning application has been submitted to the Planning Service
seeking full permission for the development of a Nursing Home
(53,000 sq ft building for high a dependency home with 64 beds),
with ancillary works for a site within the Lagan Valley Regional
Park at 170 Upper Malone Road.
for Motorway Service Station on Southbound carriageway,
Drumbeg. (Erection of motorway services to include
filling station, forecourt service shop, car wash, café/restaurant,
rest and WC facilities, associated parking and amenity area.)
Below is an extract copied from the Ulster Star website of
18 May 2010
Amended plans submitted for M1 service area
Published Date: 06 May 2010
'AMENDED plans have been submitted for what would be Northern
Ireland's first motorway service area on the M1 near Hillhall.
The original plans sparked controversy when they were first
lodged in 1999 as the proposal for the motorway service station
near Sandy Lane is on the edge of the Lagan Valley Regional
Park and in close proximity to local residents in Drumbeg.
If approved the plan would see a filling station, forecourt
service shop, car wash, cafe/restaurant, rest and WC facilities,
associated parking and amenity area being developed.
There is also an application for a second service station
to be located on the north side of the motorway close to Drumbeg.'
for Motorway Service Station on Northbound carriageway,
for 4 Town houses at 248 Ballylesson Road
NOVEMBER 2009 --- CEMETERY UPDATE by
Tony Hegarty and Roger MacWilliam
Since our last newsletter we have picked up some more information
from Belfast City Council Parks and Leisure Committee minutes.
The Meeting of 9 April 2009 was given updated information on
Tier 3 ground tests at Lisleen and Nutts Corner. To analyse
the data will take approximately 16 months to complete. It is
anticipated that the final report will be received in May 2010
At the Meeting of 11 June 2009 Councillors were reminded that
Lisleen and Nutts Corner sites were selected as the Council's
preferred sites and Drumbeg and Hightown are no longer in the
short list, within the context of the Council developing one
large cemetery. The Council had proceeded to a Tier 3 risk assessment
at both Lisleen and Nutts Corner. A Report to this Meeting gave
initial findings. The Lisleen site has favourable conditions
and would be likely to be suitable for development as a cemetery.
The Nutts Corner site is not as straightforward. It was agreed
that the Tier 3 tests continue at Lisleen and initial "data
modelling" will be carried out at the Nutts Corner site.
Although the interim findings have not ruled out either site,
it is advisable that due to the issues that have arisen with
the Nutts Corner site that contingency plans are put in place.
Possible options for contingency plans are:
To review the previously identified "long list" of
sites to see if there is potential to identify a number of potentially
suitable smaller sites.To advertise/seek expressions of interest
from landowners who have potentially suitable sites they may
be willing to offer for sale as a contingency option for further
It was recommended that in the first instance a desk top review
of the previously identified sites be carried out; the results
of this to be reported back to the committee in September. It
seems that the Committee has not yet received this
The meeting on 15 October was told that investigation of Lisleen
and Nutts Corner has continued, but that only 36% of the Nutts
Corner site was suitable for burials, the rest having insufficient
soil depth over rock. The Consultants Scott Wilson has recommended
that the findings of the Tier 3 investigation of Nutts Corner
be assessed by Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the successor
to Environment and Heritage Service. As NIEA have not previously
carried out such an assessment, the time for a response is uncertain.
Because only a small proportion of Nutts Corner is useable,
the possibility that small sites be developed still remains.
It is probable that Drumbeg has not been finally dismissed by
Belfast's Consultants. The "long list" is the list
of approximately 12 sites. From this the consultants originally
chose Hightown and Drumbeg as their preferred site for a single
large cemetery. Belfast City Council then chose Drumbeg and
submitted it to BMAP.
poet Colin Sloan publishes his latest book -
'Lisburn Camera & Verse'.
poetry with photos of Lisburn from 1963-1972, taken by the Town
Clerk, the late Harry Duff. is now available at Waterstones, Bow
The following planning application is available on a Public Register
and may be examined at The Divisional Planning Office, Rathkeltair
House, Market Street, Downpatrick between the hours of 9.30am -
4.30pm Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10.30am - 4.30pm
on Thursday. It is advisable to telephone before calling at the
Planning Office, Tel: 02844 618000 as it is possible by agreement
to examine the published applications at a clinic at another location
within the Division,
Written comments may be submitted within the next 14 days. Please
quote the application number in any correspondence and note that
any representations made, including objections, will be publicly
available on the planning application file.
To view the application file which will include all representations
submitted, you must contact 028 44 618232 for an appointment quoting
the application number. You should note that during the early stages
of processing, the application file will contain little more information
than the Public Register,
The following Information is also available on www.planningni.gov.uk
THE TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR THE DOWNPATRICK DIVISIONAL OFFICE HAS BEEN
CHANGED TO 02844 618000
||Approx 200m south of 40 Sandy Lane, Hillhall, Lisburn
||Erection of motorway services to include filling station, forecourt
service shop, car wash, café/restaurant, rest and WC facilities,
associated parking and amenity area. (amended plans)
poet Colin Sloan has another book published.
Straight Outta Belfast. Poems
and Images of a City in Transition by Colin Sloan and Brendan
Published by Brehon Press. November 2007
Inquiry - Drumbeg A Cemetery -
Planning Service has withdrawn from BMAP the land south
of Drumbeg proposed for zoning as a cemetery. This follows a decision
by Belfast City Council that it no longer wished to pursue this option
for securing these additional burial lands, identified by the Council
as Drumbeg A. The Planning Appeals Commission confirmed at a public
Pre-Inquiry meeting on 21 February that the proposal will not be considered
at the BMAP Inquiry. We expect that Planning Service will be giving
formal notice of this decision to objectors and other interested parties.
However, we cannot yet sit back and relax. Belfast City
Council continues its search for burial sites and is carrying out investigations
in four other locations, including land lying between Quarterlands Road
and the M1 motorway, identified as Drumbeg B. If BCC decide to proceed
with this site, it will be obliged to apply for planning approval in
the normal manner. We must be prepared to oppose such an application
if it should arise. It is encouraging that BCC has stated that its decision
to abandon Drumbeg A was based on both planning and legal advice. Similar
considerations should apply to Drumbeg B, and it is up to us to demonstrate
why this site is also unsuitable.
The massive number of individual objections to the BMAP
proposal was a major factor in securing its withdrawal, showing the
power of organised and well-focussed local opinion. The community has
to be grateful to all who made their opposition known to Planning Service
- we may well have to show similar resolve in resisting Drumbeg B.
Inquiry - Drumbeg A Cemetery -
The Statement of Case in support of its objections was
submitted by Drumbeg Residents’ Association to the Planning Appeals
Commission by the due date of 24 February 2007.
Inquiry - Drumbeg A Cemetery
- November 2006
Members of the Action Committee and Planning Consultant Dale Singleton
attended the First Pre-Inquiry Meeting on 14 November at The Spires
Centre. The meeting was chaired by Elaine Kinghan, Deputy Chief Commissioner
of the Planning Appeals Commission.
The meeting was concerned solely with the timetabling of the Inquiry
and procedural matters. There was no formal reference to any specific
BMAP proposals, though it did emerge that the Drumbeg Cemetery is one
of the major matters to be determined by the Inquiry.
Written evidence must be submitted to the PAC by 14 February 2007. Dale
and the Committee will be working at this.
For those of you with Powerpoint, a presentation that was made at the
meeting can be found on the PAC website www.pacni.gov.uk . In the scrolling
box on the site homepage, click the paragraph beginning “Click
here for correspondence relating to the draft BMAP". The presentation
will be found at the bottom of the list which then appears.
Cemetery Threat to Drumbeg - Drumbeg B site
BMAP proposed area
for Cemetery and Crematorium
(November 2004) - Drumbeg A
B - NEW proposed area for Cemetery and Crematorium
BELFAST CITY COUNCIL REVIEW OF CEMETERY PROVISION.
You will be aware from
the last Newssheet that Belfast City Council had appointed new Consultants
to review the work of their previous appointees. You may have read
an article in Sunday News, on 20 August 2006, stating that Belfast
City Council’s consultants had produced a report recommending
four sites for consideration as future cemetery provision. The sites
are Nutts Corner, Hightown, Drumbeg B and Lisleen. The Lisleen site
is adjacent to Roselawn Cemetery.
The critical local issue is that Belfast
City Council has now identified an additional site named Drumbeg B.
The site is approx 90 hectares which is 50% greater than the original
site. This site is the land extending from the M1 motorway to the
Quarterlands Road (boundary from the corner at the Quarterlands Lane
development to just above the Quarterlands Road/ Hillhall Road junction).
See map above.
We consider the new Belfast City Council Consultants’ recommendations
as an even greater threat to the wider Drumbeg community.
We first became aware of this report from the press article and were
informed that the matter was to be discussed at the Lisburn City Council
Meeting on Tuesday 22 August 2006. We understood that Belfast City
Council had written to Lisburn City Council seeking their views on
the revised site at Drumbeg. We had a small deputation at the meeting.
The Council unanimously rejected the proposal. Councillors speaking
against the proposal included Ald Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Ald Ivan Davis,
Ald Seamus Close and Cllr Patricia Lewsley. The Council Officials
were instructed to reply to Belfast City Council advising them that
Lisburn City Council remains opposed to any proposal for the development
of any cemetery in the Drumbeg Area.
The present factual position is: - Belfast City Council asked BMAP
to zone approximately 60 hectares of land at Drumbeg for a cemetery.
This is the site which is subject to the Public Local Inquiry. It
is our view that Drumbeg B cannot be introduced into BMAP but could
be the subject of a separate planning application.
The whole area of Drumbeg is under threat
from Belfast City Council’s proposals to establish a Cemetery
and Crematorium in the Drumbeg area.
You will recall from our meeting in Drumbeg Parish Hall in April 2005
that we pointed out that Belfast City Council had identified the land
from the Drumbeg Road to the M1 motorway for development as a super
cemetery. That still seems to be one option which they may pursue.
Consequently a delegation from the Association/Action Committee attended
a full Belfast City Council meeting on 4 September 2006 to reinforce
our objections. This pressure will be maintained and sustained.
off Sandy Lane Planning Application October 2006
Star 6th and 13th October 2006
Lands to the west of and adjacent to Sandy Lane and south of Nos
2-46 Sandymount Gardens Ballyskeagh, Lisburn.
Change of use of land to cemetery/graveyard to include access onto
Sandy Lane, car parking, landscaping and internal access road way.
The Drumbeg Residents’ Association Action Committee has been preparing
for the expected BMAP Public Inquiry with particular reference to the
proposed Cemetery and Crematorium. Documentation and background information
continues to be gathered from Belfast City Council, Lisburn City Council,
Planning Service and other sources, in part through the use of the Freedom
of Information Act.
It is encouraging to know that Lisburn City Council has stated its opposition
to the proposal.
Following a successful tendering process Dr. Dale Singleton has been appointed
as a Planning Consultant to the DRA Action Committee. He and his family
are residents of the area. Dale has 25 years experience as a Chartered
Planner in the public, private and educational sectors in Ireland and
Britain. He has acted at over 400 Inquiries and Appeals here. He was a
former Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Planning at
Queens University and a specialist advisor to the House of Commons, NI
Affairs Committee, on planning in Northern Ireland. Preliminary discussions
took place with Dr. Singleton on 24th January 2006.
Vol 1 issue 2 December 2004
and Crematorium planned for Drumbeg
Drumbeg to provide a cemetery for Belfast
The Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) proposals have been published
in the last few days and contain a very mixed bag of plans for our fair
village. Although there hasn't been time to study the document in any
detail-you need a trolley to carry in about it has been possible to unearth
some of the main proposals that will affect us all. The one that jumps
out and hits you between the eyes is the plan to create a 50 Hectare cemetery
in the south quadrant of Drumbeg. This may not sound large at first but
the designated area will actually extend south of Rosevale to Hillhall
Road and from behind Rosevale east as far as Quarterlands Road. It's a
monster. You might quite rightly think that it’s hardly in proportion
to the needs of the local community and you would be correct. Apparently
Belfast is fast running out of places to bury people and after consultation
with Belfast and Newtownabbey councils we were considered the best location
for a new super cemetery. This process of consultation doesn't appear
to have extended to ourselves. We have until the 25th of January 2004
Well is there any good news? Well there is. The BMAP on paper at least
appears to be committed to extending the Lagan Valley Regional Park to
encompass Drumbeg. It also makes a pledge to protect and nut-are areas
of high scenic value and what it-refers to as "urban villages"
and areas of "village character". It seeks to protect these
settlements and spare them from development that is out of character.
There is a strong recognition of the value of the sense of place, local
distinctiveness, and community diversity throughout sections of the document
which is encouraging. How this aspiration squares with turning Drumbeg
into the dead centre of Belfast is difficult for me to see.
News Vol 2 Issue 1 March 2005
buried? Dead wrong! by Tony Hegarty
Following the publication of the Draft BMAP proposals in November 2004
this community showed its opposition to the planned sitting of a cemetery/crematorium
at Drumbeg. Nearly one thousand letters of objection were lodged.
The action group set up to fight this proposal have intensively lobbied
Lisburn City Council who have since withdrawn from a proposed joint venture
with Belfast City Council for cemetery provision and have lodged an official
objection to the planned Drumbeg cemetery site.
A response from the BMAP team, in relation to this matter is not expected
until the end of April as it is but one of a myriad of objections returned
to BMAP after the publication of the draft proposals. Regarding the cemetery
proposal itself BMAP will contact Belfast City Council and ask them for
their comments following the overwhelming level of local objection to
the proposal. There could then be a further period of eight weeks before
any decision will be taken whether the matter should be progressed to
a Public Enquiry. However it is ominous that Belfast City Council shows
no signs of voluntarily withdrawing the proposal of Drumbeg as the cemetery
site at this stage. The community association is currently working on
the scenario that we will fight the issue through a Public Enquiry.
Since late January we have been engaged in gathering details of Council
Meetings and other information in preparation for developing a case for
submission to an Enquiry should it take place. We have also sought some
preliminary professional advice.
All the members of Lisburn Council have been contacted and requested to
sign an unequivocal letter of support of our objection to the cemetery
proposal. Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson and his potential challenger in the next
General Election Basil McCrea have also been approached. The letter reads:
"I confirm that, should I be elected on 5th May 2005, I will give
unambiguous, sustained and timely support to the Drumbeg/Lagan Valley
Campaign against the Draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan proposal to
zone land for Belfast City Council Cemetery/Crematorium at the designated
site at Drumbeg."
As soon as we have more information about the progress of the BMAP deliberations
this will be communicated to the community. We also intend to elaborate
in some detail a number of important issues including possible costs and
funding options if we must fight a Public Enquiry. An information night
is planned to gather local opinion and views and chart a way forward.
Make no mistake we may have gained the upper hand in the first battle
to protect our community from what can only be described as a violation.
But the war is far from won. This is a community fight and it is only
with the wholehearted support and commitment of the community we have
any hope of succeeding.
The Association wishes to record its appreciation for all those unsung
heroes who have committed so much time and effort on all our behalf to
moving this objection forward.
Vol 2 Issue 2 October 2005
under threat - A BMAP Update by Tony Hegarty
On the 7th September 2005 the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015 (BMAP)
Team published all objections to the Draft BMAP Proposals. There is now
an eight-week period to 2nd November for individuals and agencies to respond
to the objections raised. We have studied the representations and those
affecting Drumbeg fall into two categories.
Cemetery and Crematorium
There were around 1000 objections to the BMAP proposal to zone
land at Drumbeg for development as a cemetery. This was by far
the largest number of objections received to any single element within
the BMAP document. At this stage we are still waiting to see what Belfast
City Council's response will be to this massive rejection of their cemetery
proposal. Like everyone else they are constrained to produce their counter-objections
by the Nov 2nd deadline. After this closing date the Planning Service
will make their decision on how to proceed. This is unlikely to be in
any other direction but toward a Public Enquiry. Right from the discovery
of the cemetery proposal in BMAP it was always suspected that the matter
would have to be resolved in this way.
From a community perspective this immediately creates problems because
representations at such Enquires must be made by professionals. If the
community want its voice to be heard and retain ownership of its contribution
to the process then we will have to engage the services of a Planning
Consultant to represent us. This of course will cost money. The objective
of the fund raising activities which have occurred in recent months was
to secure the necessary finance to explore the possibility of taking this
During June and July an appeal was launched to raise funds to meet the
cost of a community based submission to the anticipated public enquiry
should it be necessary. This money is currently lodged with the Ulster
Bank (Finaghy) as the 'Drumbeg Cemetery and Crematorium Fund'.
Tenders are now being sought for the position of Planning Consultant to
act on our behalf at the Public Enquiry. This will be our only opportunity
to fight this imposition. To any households who have not and might wish
to contribute to the fighting fund contact any DRA Committee or Action
Group member. Money can be paid directly into the account.
The consequences which will be wreaked upon this community by a failure
to prevent this proposed development are unimaginable. We need everyone's
Vol 3 Issue 1 June
and Crematorium Update
Last News Sheet (Oct 2005) we reported that the proposed zoning of land
at Drumbeg for a cemetery and crematorium complex within BMAP would only
be resolved by a Public Inquiry. We also mentioned that in order to properly
represent the community’s position we would need to engage professional
expertise to prepare the case .
Our funding appeal had extensive support. This enabled the DRA to appoint
on behalf of the community, after a tendering process, Dr. Dale Singleton.
He with other specialist appointees, will lead our opposition at the Public
Inquiry when and if it happens. Dr. Singleton is a Fellow of the Royal
Town Planning Institute with 25 years experience as a Chartered Planner
in the public, private and educational sectors. He has acted as an expert
witness/advocate at over 400 planning appeals and inquiries in Northern
Ireland. Significantly he and his family are residents of the area.
Many of you may think not a lot has happened over the last six months.
This is far from the truth, as regular lobbying and meetings have continued
behind the scenes to ensure that LCC and BCC are in no doubt of the widespread
opposition to the zoning. In addition the Action Group have worked tirelessly
in preparing the ground for the Public Enquiry and continue to make representations
to all local councillors. The matter has been raised in the House of Commons
by our MP Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson and of course the BBC included an item
on the proposal in its Inside Out programme.
We understand that the BMAP team recently completed their part of this
exercise and have passed the relevant information to the Planning Appeals
Commission who will be responsible for conducting the Public Inquiry.
The next step in this process is that the Commission will contact the
This will require the completion and return of a pro-forma by all those
who wish to sustain their objection. It is critical that everyone maintains
their opposition by completing and returning the form when these are distributed.
Should you have any difficulty, do not hesitate to contact one of the
members of the local Action Group. Please remember that your ‘Agent’
is the Drumbeg Residents’ Association.
The Public Inquiry is expected to be at the end of this year or early
to the Cemetery and Crematorium on the web
From House of Commons Planning (NI) Debate 1st Nov 2005
Mr. Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Lagan Valley) (DUP): I, too, congratulate my
hon. Friend the Member for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson) on securing the
debate. He made an excellent speech, laced with his usual good humour,
and demonstrated a strong grasp of the relevant issues.
I want to draw the Minister's attention to the regional development strategy
for Northern Ireland, especially the housing growth indicators within
that strategy. Under the Belfast metropolitan area draft plan, those housing
growth indicators were set at 20 per cent. growth for the duration of
the plan period. The figure of 20 per cent. is too low and fails to reflect
the housing growth that will be required in the Belfast metropolitan area
over the plan period. As my hon. Friend said, given the likely further
delay in processing the plan, which may not come live until 2009, the
figure needs to be revised. Recently, the Planning Appeals Commission
at the inquiry into the draft North Down and Ards area plan conceded that
point and accepted that the target for that area's housing growth was
inadequate. The principle having been conceded, the Department and the
Planning Service need to reconsider and to revise the figure for BMAP.
In the light of my hon. Friend's comments, I ask the Minister to clarify
the likely time scale within which it is intended to hold the public inquiry
into the Belfast metropolitan area draft plan. When is it intended that
BMAP will be adopted? What is the target date for adoption of BMAP and
I want to mention briefly some of the consequences of the current BMAP
process. Primarily, there is concern in my constituency about the joint
ministerial statement by Lord Rooker, the Minister of State for Northern
Ireland, who is responsible for the environment, and the Under-Secretary
of State for Northern Ireland, the hon. Member for St. Helens, South (Mr.
Woodward), who is responsible for the Planning Service. That edict caused
great concern especially in rural areas in Northern Ireland. There is
a proposal in the draft BMAP plan to extend the green belt in rural areas.
Planning applications that were already in the system, which pre-date
the publication of BMAP, although they met all the planning policy guidelines,
were refused on the ground of prematurity because the area where the site
was located would potentially form part of the green belt. That is grossly
Applicants, in good faith, submitted a planning application and found
themselves caught, sometimes because the planning process had resulted
in significant delays for those applications. A few weeks could have made
all the difference between getting an approval and finding that their
application was suddenly refused, purely on the ground of prematurity.
I say, with respect, that the Department needs to look at the issue again
in the interests of fairness and to revisit the issue of the joint ministerial
statement. It is unfair that people have been disadvantaged in that way.
The strongest objection to the draft BMAP plan came from the residents
of Drumbeg in my constituency. Some 1,000 objections were lodged against
the proposal for a cemetery and crematorium on the edge of the Lagan Valley
regional park. The former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the
late Mo Mowlam, took time out to walk the Lagan Valley regional park with
me. Her intervention strengthened the safeguards for that valuable open
space, which is important not just to my constituents in the city of Lisburn,
but to the city of Belfast.
However, there is now a proposal to locate a huge cemetery and crematorium
in the expanded boundaries of the Lagan Valley regional park. There is
a proposal under BMAP to extend the boundary of the regional park to include
the area around Drumbeg. In the same draft plan, there is a proposal to
create the cemetery and crematorium within that space. There is outrage
in the community about that proposal and total opposition to it. I urge
the Department to take that on board and, in revising the draft plan,
to drop the proposal for the Drumbeg cemetery and crematorium. I accept
that there is a need for a new facility, but surely not in the Lagan Valley
regional park. We need to protect the open space that we have in the Belfast
metropolitan area, which is a valued asset that should be conserved and
preserved for future generations. That is the wrong way to go about it.
Basil McCrea http://www.uup.org/basilmccrea/2005/01/basil-mccrea-pledges-full-support-to.html
Jeffrey Donaldson on the Lagan Valley
7. Is enough being done to protect the environment in Lagan Valley?
Since being elected I have taken a keen interest in environmental issues
and have recently succeeded in obtaining a review of the Lagan Valley
Regional Park in order to provide stronger protection for this important
'Green' asset. I have also co-operated with Lisburn Conservation Society
in promoting the protection of wildlife habitats and I have actively campaigned
with Friends of the Earth and other local community groups to oppose a
landfill site for toxic waste at Mullaghglass Quarry and a proposed incinerator
near Glenavy. I am also strongly opposed to the proposal by Belfast City
Council for a new cemetery and crematorium at Drumbeg which would have
a detrimental impact on the local community and upon the Lagan Valley
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