WORK could soon start on an $2.8 million expansion to the Tamworth cemetery.
Council has lodged a development application to extend the current Showground Rd cemetery into a 2.7 hectare, council-owned, block of land adjacent to the site.
The current cemetery is expected to be fully occupied or reserved by the end of 2019.
Documents lodged with the application reveal the expansion, which is flanked by Dampier St, will serve the city for a further 30 years.
There are also plans for “open hall prayer structure” to host funeral services at the site.
“The facility will be used for funeral services with an estimated average attendance of 20-30 persons per funeral based upon current practice,” the statement of environmental effects said.
Tamworth Regional Council’s acting manager of horticulture and recreation Murray Russell said the expansion was a “significant development”.
“The existing site only has a few years’ capacity left for Tamworth city,” Mr Russell said.
“We will need additional space and the land just next to it has about 30 years of capacity.”
Mr Russell said there wasn’t a site earmarked for future growth in 30 years’ time.
With a $2.8 million price tag attached to development, Mr Russell said the expansion would “require significant earthworks to make the site work”.
The development will be “infrastructure intensive”, according to Mr Russell, with a small chapel to be built on the site.
The Tamworth region has 18 cemeteries, with 10 of those operational and eight now closed for burials.