Drumbeg Community Association

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Vol 5 No 1 March 2008 Online edition


Prior to Christmas you will have probably heard in the media that Belfast City Council was proposing to investigate the possibility of developing two sites for future cemetery use. The two sites are at Lisleen (at Castlereagh) and at Nutts Corner. This gave the impression that Belfast City Council was no longer interested in developing a cemetery at Drumbeg.

Our Committee decided not to issue a circular to the residents until we had obtained a copy of the relevant minutes from Belfast City Council. This has happened recently. If you wish to see the minutes of the meeting they are on the Belfast City Council website - The Parks and Leisure Committee - Meeting of Thursday 15 November 2007 and the full Council – Monday 3 December 2007.

You will recall that during the summer Belfast City Council wished to carry out further tests at the Drumbeg B, Lisleen and Nutts Corner Sites.
At a Meeting on 22 May 2007 of the Belfast City Council Special Community and Recreation Committee it was agreed that a Cemeteries Working Group be established to "oversee and provide direction on the future burial provision for the city". Each of the Party Groups was asked to nominate a member to the working group and the first meeting of the group was scheduled for 17 October 2007.

At this meeting the key issues were:-
to exclude Hightown
1.  to report on the further studies undertaken during the summer. These looked at the
2.  Hydrogeological conditions at Drumbeg, Lisleen and Nutts Corner.
The findings were:
1.  Drumbeg - unlikely to be suitable.
2.  Lisleen - likely to be suitable.
3.  Nutts Corner - may be suitable (more tests).

Representatives from Scott Wilson who act on behalf of Belfast City Council reported on discussions with the Environment and Heritage Service where they presented the draft report of the hydrogeologist (Black and Veatch). The Environment and Heritage Service has advised that a Tier 3 Risk Assessment be undertaken at both Lisleen and Nutts Corner.

The recommendations from the meeting were:
The Committee is asked to agree the recommendations of the Cemeteries Working Group, namely that:-
1.  Lisleen and Nutts Corner sites are selected as the Council's preferred sites and that Drumbeg and Hightown are no longer in the shortlist (within the context of the Council developing one large cemetery).
2.  the Council proceeds to a Tier 3 Risk Assessment at both Lisleen and Nutts Corner.
3,  in the meantime, discussions take place with the Environment and Heritage Service (key stakeholder and statutory consultee) to receive feedback on the collated hydro-geological reports and to ascertain EHS views in respect of the feasibility of developing each site.
4.  further discussions with neighbouring councils take place on the issues of mutual concern with regard to the provision of burial space both at present and in the future.

The Committee adopted the recommendations.
The report from the Parks and Leisure Committee then went forward to the full Belfast City Council meeting for approval.

We wrote to the Belfast City Council regarding clarification of their position and in the reply from their Legal Services Department they state and I quote two of their answers to our questions, viz
"The Council can confirm only that the Council has reduced the shortlist to two sites (Lisleen and Nutts Corner), in the context of the future development of one cemetery for the metropolitan area".
"The Council can only confirm at this time that, as stated above, Drumbeg B is no longer one of the sites in the shortlist for the development of a future cemetery, in the context of the Council developing one cemetery for the metropolitan area".

So the situation is not quite what we were led to believe. Drumbeg is no longer in the shortlist (within the context of the Council developing one large cemetery). However Belfast City Council has not said that it no longer wishes to develop a small cemetery at Drumbeg.

If we go back to the beginning of this process Belfast City Council had to decide between developing one large cemetery or a number of smaller cemeteries around the city. They chose the large cemetery route. But if they cannot achieve this do they return to a number of smaller cemeteries?

Our group is aware that Belfast City Council is proposing to carry out further investigations at the Lisleen Site and this has brought opposition from local landowners.

An article then appeared in Sunday News on 2 March stating that the Belfast City Lord Mayor Cllr Jim Rodgers was urging his fellow councillors to drop the proposal to develop a cemetery and crematorium at Lisleen. The article also indicated that “Drumbeg in Lisburn and Hightown at Glengormley have been ruled out as unsuitable for burials” and that “Nutts Corner in Antrim is seen as a non-runner because it is too far out of the city”. Cllr Rodgers also stated that “when the Council set out on the search for a cemetery we agreed it should be in north or south Belfast” and that he did not “see Nutts Corner as an alternative and my feeling is we should go back to the drawing board”

This Committee believes that despite the ground conditions there is still a strong wish within a section of Belfast City Council to develop a cemetery at Drumbeg and that if any size of cemetery was developed at Drumbeg it would be extended until the original proposal was achieved.

Remember that at Drumbeg A (the BMAP site) Belfast City Council's own Legal and Planning Opinion was that they were unlikely to win at a Public Inquiry. At Drumbeg B they encountered sand, water and there was a high risk of pollution. Despite this Drumbeg has not been totally removed from their thinking.
This Committee remains totally focused and our aims have not changed and we will continue to work against this threat to our village until it is removed

A number of incidents of theft of Domestic Heating oil have occurred in the Lisburn area. Police are asking residents to check their oil level on a regular basis, at least twice a week and make sure they have locks on their oil tanks. Access to the rear of properties should be restricted outside of delivery days.
Thieves are using this time, when oil is so expensive, to target private homeowners by using vehicles that are similar looking to oil delivery lorries to call at homes and extract oil from their tanks.
Your assistance is required in being more vigilant. If you notice any deliveries in your area please note the date and time and most importantly the vehicle’s registration number. This may be of help to police if further thefts occur.
In cases where the activity of the delivery person/s looks suspicious report it to police at Lisburn on:- 0845 600 8000 or dial 999 in an Emergency
Your support and assistance is much appreciated in dealing with this crime.
Willie Johnston, Crime Prevention Officer,
Lisburn Police

We had updates on our year’s activities, the Treasurer’s report, and the latest news on the proposed Cemeteries A & B.
Officers and committee for the forthcoming year were elected.
Issues raised were the lack of and exact location of bus stops on the Drumbeg and Ballyskeagh Roads. Also discussed was the ongoing problem of higher insurance costs for those who have a BT17 Postcode compared to those who are BT27. The new committee will look into these matters.
DDRA was advised by a Council Representative that we will need to redraft our Constitution in order to comply with new regulations due to forthcoming Charity Legislation. At the moment we are not registered as a Charity. The revised Constitution will be put before members at the next AGM in 2008.
The speaker Dr Billy Nelson of the Renal Unit, Belfast City Hospital gave an interesting and entertaining talk about Kidney services in Northern Ireland. It was cheering to hear that Northern Ireland has the best renal dialysis provision in the British Isles.
Tea and biscuits at the end of the meeting gave a chance for people to mingle and chat informally. Thank you all for attending.

In the autumn David Watson, Peter McBrier and Roger Mac William planted daffodils and crocus on the banking of the car park and along the towpath.
The DRA committee is to send the Lagan Valley Regional Park a map showing where we have planted these. For the last 2 years their contractors have cut the leaves before they have had time to build up their bulbs after flowering.

IRISH NEWS Saturday 12 January 2008
Mourners shivering in a chapel are to be kept warm using heat generated from cremating their loved ones. The idea will be tried at a crematorium near Manchester where grieving friends and relatives have complained of the cold during services. Tameside Council will use heat from cremating bodies to keep the mourners warm at Dukinfield Crematorium. Town hall chiefs say the heat generated will be enough to power the boiler and light the chapel.
But they admit it is a "sensitive" issue and have promised to consult clergy and the wider community.
Robin Monk, environment chief of Tameside Council, said: "I'm not sure how people will react, but we don't want to upset anyone. We will carry out full consultation with priests, vicars and the public before a decision is taken."
But the Rev Vernon Marshall, of Old Chapel, said: "As a final act of generosity, it's a lovely way for the dead to provide comfort for the living at a difficult
Permission to reproduce this has been given by The Irish News

At the beginning of February we had an evening of snow. The next day a wonderful snow-woman was seen lounging against the Church wall.

The Drumbeg Residents Association is planning two outings for Senior members of the community.
Transport and lunch are provided free and pick up is in Drumbeg. Venues have not yet been finalised but the dates are 10th June and 14th October.

We wish Beryl Dean our president all the best for her forthcoming hip replacement.

Further to matters raised at our AGM Ulsterbus had visited the two locations in question and a bus stop sign had been placed on the Ballyskeagh Road.

There was a larger than ever turn out for our annual Carol Service. Rev. Deveney conducted the service and switched on the Christmas tree lights. Father Christmas and Mayor Tinsley attended!! Soup and hot dogs were provided by the committee. £194 was raised for the Salvation Army

In December 2006 Drumbeg Stores, Sutherland, Scotland was voted the best village shop in Scotland in a national competition organised by the CountrysideAlliance in conjunction with Farmer’s Weekly and the Daily Telegraph. Drumbeg has 40 residents!

Collection of brown bins recommences in the week beginning 10th March.

Colin has had another book published.
Straight Outta Belfast. Poems and Images of a City in Transition by Colin Sloan and Brendan Murphy.
Published by Brehon Press. Available from

The annual Drumbeg versus Drumbo friendly bowling match resulted in a win for Drumbeg. Drumbo players provided a delicious supper which added to the occasion.

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