Eastgate eco-village plan for former Lafarge site stalls

Lafarge site
Image caption The site has remained empty since the cement works were levelled in 2005

Plans for an eco-village and thermal spa in County Durham have stalled.

The site of the former Lafarge cement works in Eastgate had been earmarked for the multi-million pound scheme.

Durham County Council was set to buy the land for £1, and, with regional development agency One North East, spend £1.5m to kick-start development.

With the agency now abolished, the plan has been put on hold. The council said it was still working with Lafarge on the future of the site.

The planned eco-village would have used hot water pumped from underneath the Weardale hills to heat homes, a hotel, and a recreated Roman spa.

There were hopes it would have have created up to 250 jobs.

Lafarge, which still owns the site, said in a statement: "We remain committed to the outline plans for a renewable energy village at Eastgate.

"However the majority of our work has taken place during the severe economic conditions that the UK has been facing over recent years, and so far we are not able to give a more detailed update on those plans."

Durham County Council said in a statement: "We are still working with Lafarge on the future of the land."

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