Geoff Nuttall of WWF (left) with Edwin Poots and Lafarge Cement's Lloyd McInally (right).

NI minister visits Lafarge eco village

Published:  03 December, 2009

LARNE: Northern Ireland's Environment Minister Edwin Poots has given his seal of approval to the new Magheramorne village being developed on the site of Lafarge Cement's former works and quarry.

The visit follows the granting of outline planning permission earlier this year by the former Environment Minister for the redevelopment of the site into a world-class sustainable eco-village – a first for the cement industry, and the largest brownfield site currently awaiting redevelopment in Northern Ireland.

Lafarge operated as a cement manufacturer at the Northern Ireland site for almost 100 years and is redeveloping it in partnership with WWF.

The regeneration plans comprise an eco-village, a mountain biking centre, film studios, a railway heritage site and nature conservation areas.

Once built, Mageramorne village will become a WWF One Planet Community, adhering to the principle of residents using only their fair share of the earth's resources.

On visiting the site Minister Edwin Poots commended the project: "This development has great potential to not only benefit Northern Ireland, but to show how Northern Ireland can be at the forefront of sustainable living. I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit this wonderful site which is set to become the home of the first One Planet Living Community on the island of Ireland," he said.

Lafarge Cement's Magheramorne project manager, Lloyd McInally commented: "We're delighted to be working with WWF Northern Ireland on this project. The site – equivalent in size to 220 football pitches – represents a unique opportunity to transform the fortunes of the local and regional economy."

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