A redundant UK cement works could regain its place at the heart of a North Pennines community if ambitious plans for an eco-village come to fruition. Full details of the project have been unveiled for the first time and today a newsletter will be delivered to the people of Weardale and the Wear Valley, in County Durham. It will show how the former Lafarge UK cement works at Eastgate could be transformed to create a new village, which would be self- sufficient, setting an example for the rest of the country.
The project would feature a renewable energy centre, driven by hot rocks already discovered beneath the site, and boast a combination of wind, water, solar, biomass and geothermal energy unparalleled in the country. It would have the potential to heat and light 4000 homes, which would create an opportunity for the whole of Weardale to be self-sufficient.
The design leaves space to house more than 100 families and includes accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses as well as a hotel and other holiday facilities. The star attraction at the centre of the village will be the public hot springs, which will sit in a domed structure created in a garden. It would offer visitors and residents the opportunity to relax in open-air or covered warm water pools whilst enjoying views of the surrounding countryside.
There would also be a fish farm, which would utilise the hot water to breed exotic species, along with a plant nursery, which would take advantage of the temperatures to produce unusual blooms.