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Boom! The towers are coming down

PUBLISHED: 14:15 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:33 23 August 2010

RESIDENTS can have the chance to press a button and launch the largest demolition project in Europe. Closed in 2008, the two 550ft chimneys, which dominate the Northfleet and Gravesend skyline, will be brought down on March 28, marking the end of nearly

RESIDENTS can have the chance to press a button and launch the largest demolition project in Europe.

Closed in 2008, the two 550ft chimneys, which dominate the Northfleet and Gravesend skyline, will be brought down on March 28, marking the end of nearly 200 years of cement production on the site.

Nigel Rees, demolition manager at Lafarge Cement's Northfleet site, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer someone this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start the demolition of both chimneys."

To win the chance to begin the destruction, a charity text competition has been launched, with entry costing £3 and all proceeds to be shared between the Kent Air Ambulance Trust and EllenorLions Hospice.

"The chimneys have been a longstanding landmark for Northfleet, the money raised will hopefully make a lasting impression for a charitable cause," added Mr Rees.

Lynn Hyder, county fundraiser for Kent Air Ambulance, said: "This is probably one of the most unusual ways that we have ever raised funds for the charity and we are grateful to Lafarge for giving us the opportunity."

The Northfleet works are set to be torn down to make way for a huge development including new homes, jobs shops and a riverside promenade.

The company has also submitted a full planning application to Kent County Council for an import terminal to handle up to three million tonnes of construction materials per year by river, road and potentially rail, creating around 100 jobs.

Lafarge closed the site in May 2008 following years of decline in the industry largely due to the exhaustion of chalk, one of the main ingredients in cement.

During its time the site supplied most of the South East with cement, including iconic monuments such as the QE2 Bridge, Canary Wharf and the Channel Tunnel.

n To enter the competition text BOOM to 70300.

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