Lafarge Tarmac to sell Eastgate cement works eco-project site

Entrance to the former cement works in Eastgate Image copyright Google

A former cement works in Weardale which had been earmarked for an eco-village is being sold by owners Lafarge Tarmac.

Plans for the creation of homes, business and leisure facilities powered by five forms of renewable energy at Eastgate halted after funds dried up.

Now Lafarge Tarmac plan to sell the 431ha site as the company itself is up for sale.

The firm said planning permission would remain with the site, which has a guide price of £1.4m.

A spokeswoman said: "The intention is that the site will be sold as a single lot and with the benefit of the existing planning permission secured by Lafarge Tarmac."

Image caption The cement works quarry is currently being used as a film set for an ITV production of Beowulf

The former cement works closed in 2002 with the loss of nearly 200 jobs.

Plans for the eco-village, which were opposed by many local residents and Stanhope Parish Council who said it would never get off the ground, were approved in 2009.

But, other than exploratory works on a geo-thermal water source, no development has been carried out.

The quarry behind the cement works is being used by ITV as a film set for their production of Beowulf for the next five years, which would remain the case if the site were to be sold.

Durham County Council, which was part of the consortium behind the energy village plans, said the planning permission would not be altered by a sale.

The council's head of economic development and housing Sarah Robson said: "We would be keen to work with any new owners on potential development opportunities in accordance with the planning consent which already exists."

The site will go for auction at Savills in Nottingham on 26 March.

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