Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Great Blakenham: Fresh doubt SnOasis will go ahead - Mid Suffolk leader

06:00 29 May 2014

Artist

Artist's impression of what SnOasis could look like

Archant

The leader of Mid Suffolk has cast doubt whether the proposals behind the £300million SnOasis project still “stack up”.

shares
SnOasis developer Godfrey SpannerSnOasis developer Godfrey Spanner

First proposed more than a decade ago, there is still no sign that SnOasis – the winter-sports complex earmarked for Great Blakenham – will be built.

And there is now little more than two years until its planning permission runs out.

Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said the public had the right to question whether it will go ahead.

“I have my doubts whether it will be built,” he said. “I would need some real convincing now that things are in place for it to go ahead.

“I just do not see how it could, there may be people who come back and ask for other uses for it. It’s a huge site, a very big site.

“I know the economy is improving but the business case that was put up all those years ago, does it now stack up? I do not know, someone would need to give me a real insight into their books.”

But Godfrey Spanner, the man behind SnOasis, remained defiant and said the comments were “completely out of touch”.

“During the depressed (recession) years we have reworked the project based upon modern techniques and materials and engaged with major partner opportunities which discussions are very current,” he said.

“Our entire team is intact. In the very near future we shall re-engage with the planners to discuss applications for reserved matters.”

He claimed the business case is “stronger than ever” since the collapse of the financial markets in 2008.

Last month it was revealed how a new developer had come forward with an alternative plan for the 350-acre site.

There were pre-application stage discussions with planning chiefs at Mid Suffolk – sparking calls for action to develop the area.

Mr Haley added: “Someone might come along with a great idea, it’s up to the community to view that and what is being offered.

“It’s near the A14, it’s a huge site and it would be nice to see it put to some good use.

“Some people were of the opinion that it would never be built from the first instance but if someone comes to you with a proposition you have to view it with good faith – that it’s going to be built.

“But as time goes by you do have to wonder.”

He said one idea for the site was to use it for sport facilities.

But Mr Spanner said SnOasis would be ready to open in 2018. “I remember stating in 2003, we were here to stay and we have continued to pour resources and enthusiasm on the SnOasis project for 14 years,” he said.

shares
Home Secretary Theresa May is launching Conservative candidate for Colchester Will Quince's campaign.

The Home Secretary visited Colchester today to launch the Conservative candidate’s manifesto.

Hen harrier chicks at a nest - the species has become a symbol of UK bird of prey protection efforts.

A top naturalist and TV presenter really got to the art of the matter in his fight against illegal bird and animal persecution - and used a Constable masterpiece to make his point

Sudbury Town Centre. North Street.

Police are treating the sudden death of a man in Sudbury as unexplained.

Thomas the Tank was a favourite of Callum Maclean

It’s been a tad nostalgic in the office this week, writes Kate Dodd. A flippant mention of favourite TV as a child, and the chat turned all misty-eyed and heart felt.

Emergency services at the scene at the multi-storey car park in Bury on November 28.

A 64-year-old woman who died after falling from a multi-storey car park in Bury St Edmunds committed suicide, an inquest has heard.

RAF Mildenhall

A new group has been launched to evaluate ideas for future uses of the RAF Mildenhall site before presenting them to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The Red Arrows perform manoeuvres at the Clacton Air Show on Friday, 22 August.

Spectators at this year’s Clacton Airshow will once again be able to watch the world famous Red Arrows.

Kevin Bru after being reunited with Gizzer

Ipswich Town supporters came to the rescue of one their favourite players, reuniting them with their beloved dog.

Giles' portrait of Alf Garnett

An unusual work by Suffolk art icon Carl Giles is to be auctioned in the county.

Traffic. Library image.

A broken down lorry caused slight delays for westbound traffic on the A14 this evening.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages