'It's a very difficult decision': councillors split on Valley Ridge

An artists' impression of a ski slope at the Valley Ridge resort, formerly known as SnOasis, in Great Blakenham Picture...

An artists' impression of a ski slope at the Valley Ridge resort, formerly known as SnOasis, in Great Blakenham Picture: HOLDER MATHIAS ARCHITECTS - Credit: Archant

Mixed feelings have been voiced among community leaders over fears that developers of a £500million ski resort could "walk away" from the project.

Investors in the Valley Ridge project have voiced concerns over plans which could see a nearby landfill site given a 13-year extension.

Vice-chairman of Barham Parish Council, Frances Millward said: "It would be a shame for the village if the Valley Ridge project did fall through because it has been going on for a long time and it brings in a lot of work and happiness to the area. 

New plans for Valley Ridge reveal a family focus and longer overnight stays

Investors have threatened to walk away if a nearby landfill site is given a 13-year extension - Credit: Valley Ridge

"After the year we have had it will be good to have somewhere where people can go out and do things so I do think it would be a shame if they did pull out. 

"It will put the area on the map."

Chairman of Great Blakenham Parish Council, Steve Plume said Suffolk County Council have a very difficult decision to make. 

"Holes in the ground are rare and it is an active landfill site which has been managed for decades," Mr Plume, said. 

A consultation of the Valley Ridge plans launches after Easter with a view to submitting a new planning application in summer

Councillors have become divided over the development - Credit: Valley Ridge

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"It is a very difficult decision the councils have got to consider, because they need to continue landfill but also support a development that will increase local employment and bring in revenue. 

"It is not one that should be taken easily."

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Suffolk County Council says it has received a planning application to allow the Masons site, in Great Blakenham, to continue to operate into the future.

County Councillor, Andrew Stringer has said the site should remain as a wildlife site until the landfill site has reached its capacity. 

Cllr Andrew Stringer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cllr Andrew Stringer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

"We have been told since 2007 that this leisure complex can operate side by side with a landfill site, but now we are told it isn't. 

"We suspected this all along and it is difficult to try and find a way out. If we did not carry on the landfill site the government would demand we do it somewhere else. 

"This site is built into a minerals and waste plan which was updated in 2018 as the prominent landfill site for Suffolk. 

"We would like to have seen it made into a wildlife site all along as we did think that people would not like to go on holiday next to a landfill site."

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