Great Blakenham: High Court ruling has ‘no impact’ on SnOasis

THE developer behind SnOasis has said a court ruling that a company of which he was a director “wrongfully traded” will have no impact on the Great Blakenham project.

A High Court judge found that Godfrey Spanner and co-director Peter Frohlich of Onslow Ditchling Ltd had acted with “wilfully blind optimism” in the lead up to the company’s liquidation in 2005.

Onslow Ditchling Ltd, a separate company to Onslow Suffolk, which is building SnOasis, was set up to oversee an industrial development in Ditchling, East Sussex.

It went into administration and then liquidation in 2005 with a shortfall of �900,000.

At the High Court in February, Mr Justice Norris ruled: “I therefore find and hold that as from September 14 2004 ODL was trading wrongfully, using credit extended to it by suppliers to trade when (but for their wilful blindness) they ought to have concluded that there was no realistic prospect of ODL avoiding liquidation.”

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Mr Spanner said the court’s decision would have “no impact” on SnOasis, which he insists will be ready to open in late 2014.

He told the BBC: “You go through battles - you come out with scars. I am still here.

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“I have been an optimistic person. I am determined this will happen. We are on schedule.

“We have paid an awful lot of money to get to that level. We are here to do Snoasis. It is not a whim. I am confident it will happen.”

SnOasis is a project to build a large winter sports complex in a disused quarry in Great Blakenham.

The ski dome, which must be the first part of the site to be built, would be one of the largest in the world and Mr Spanner hopes it would be used by both British and international winter sports athletes, as well as thousands of visitors every year.

Despite Mr Spanner’s confidence, his critics remained unconvinced that there is sufficient funding in place for such an ambitious project.

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