Council to back SnOasis complex

By Jonathan BarnesA COUNCIL is set to give its support to the plan for the £320million SnOasis winter sports resort.But Ipswich Borough Council wants assurances from Mid Suffolk District Council, which is overseeing a period of consultation on the proposal for the SnOasis resort at Great Blakenham, on issues such as transport and the effects on town centre business.

By Jonathan Barnes

A COUNCIL is set to give its support to the plan for the £320million SnOasis winter sports resort.

But Ipswich Borough Council wants assurances from Mid Suffolk District Council, which is overseeing a period of consultation on the proposal for the SnOasis resort at Great Blakenham, on issues such as transport and the effects on town centre business.

The borough council is also not planning to contribute any financial assistance to the estimated £160,000 cost that Mid Suffolk District Council is facing to process the application.


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Ipswich borough councillors meet on Wednesday to discuss their response to the district council on the resort plan.

Planning officers are recommending Ipswich borough councillors should support the overall proposal, subject to three conditions.

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The first is that an assessment should be carried out on the impact of the scheme on the "viability and vitality" of leisure and entertainment premises in Ipswich, and, if planning permission is granted, a number of conditions being imposed to protect those facilities in Ipswich.

The second is that none of the supporting facilities on the site, including the retail and leisure facilities, hotel and conference centre, should be opened before the snow-based facilities are open.

The third is that detailed proposals are made on how the site would be accessed from Ipswich by a range of transport and that a green travel plan is drawn up.

The report going before councillors added the council "does not consider it appropriate" to contribute financially to help with the determination of the SnOasis application.

Mid Suffolk District Council has received planning applications for the resort, on the former cement works in Gipping Road, a new railway station and for a development with 537 new homes.

The SnOasis resort is set to create 1,300 permanent jobs and is expected to attract two million visitors a year, with a target date for opening in 2007.

It will provide facilities for skiers and 13 other winter sports, including snow boarding, ice hockey, speed skating and bobsleigh.

The resort would also feature a nine-hole golf course, 350 self-catering ski lodges, a four-star 350-bed hotel, a health and fitness centre, 18 restaurants and entertainment including bars, a nightclub, an eight-screen cinema and a casino.

The district council is expected to consider the application in September.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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