New site eyed as cemeteries fill up

With Queenstown cemetery full and the Frankton graveyard heading the same way, work has been recommended to start on the Lower Shotover cemetery site next year.

Both the Queenstown and Frankton cemeteries are expected to be full within the next five years.

Between July 1 2005 and June 30 this year, 105 burial plots and 31 ashes plots were taken in Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown Cemeteries and now only 103 burial plots and 57 ashes plots remain.

However, the Queenstown Lakes District Council's community services committee this week made a recommendation to council to start work on at an urgently needed alternative site.

Council already owns land designated for cemetery purposes on Lower Shotover Rd, which was landscaped with trees 20 years ago.

A report to the committee by parks manager Gordon Bailey said the site needed roading, water and other infrastructure ready "well before" either of the other two cemeteries became full.

The committee recommended work should start in the 2012-13 financial year, to be followed by extensions to the Arrowtown cemetery in 2015-16.

He described the Arrowtown cemetery as having "plenty of space", with room enough in the existing part of the cemetery for the next seven years and space to expand.

Cr Lex Perkins said while there was still a lot of empty land in the Queenstown cemetery, the amount of rock present meant expansion was not an option.

"We have got no choice there but to shift out to the Shotover and I have to admit, the Shotover site really is quite a nice site, with the trees coming along well."



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