A NEW £1.7 million cemetery opened in Cwmbran yesterday, which will provide burial spaces for south Torfaen for at least the next 50 years.

Torfaen MP Paul Murphy opened Llwyncelyn Cemetery, at the Hollybush Heights site, which has capacity for 7,000 graves.

The new cemetery was given planning permission back in 2009 due to there being limited space in the council’s cemetery at Panteg, New Inn.

The flagship site covers around 11 hectares of land south of Hollybush Way.

As well as traditional burials, the site will also offer ‘green’ burials, which involve caskets or coffins made from biodegradable materials, which do not include a headstone.

The cemetery also includes woodland and meadow areas that can be used by the local community.

Since 2003, when the idea was first born, Torfaen council has worked with the community to create the final design of the cemetery.

The name Llwyncelyn, which is Welsh for Hollybush, was also chosen following a Torfaen council competition.

Executive member for neighbourhood services Cllr John Cunningham said: “This is the first time a Welsh authority has created a new cemetery for a long time.

“I would like to thank all of the staff involved who have done a tremendous job over the last two years.”