Mid Suffolk calls on Government to decide on Snoasis waste tip row
- Credit: Valley Ridge
Mid-Suffolk council has called on the government to make the decision on whether Great Blakenham should be home to the new Valley Ridge holiday village - or the site of a waste tip.
The council is asking Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to intervene, saying “the stakes are too high for a decision to be taken at a local level”.
Viridor Waste Management Limited has submitted a planning application to Suffolk County Council to extend the lifespan of the Masons Landfill site on Bramford Road, Great Blakenham beyond its scheduled closure in 2022.
However, permission would effectively scupper plans for a new holiday park nearby.
Plans for the Valley Ridge resort, originally known as SnOasis, have been in development for several years, with outline approval granted by central government in 2008 and by Mid Suffolk in 2011. The new owners of the site were due to submit updated plans for the development over coming weeks.
The development is set to generate at least £320m, create approximately 2,000 jobs and raise more than £18m in business rates for Mid Suffolk District Council and £4.5m for Suffolk County Council to help fund services.
However they have now put their latest planning application on hold, pending the decision over the Viridor application – saying their plans are incompatible with a landfill site next door.
In its formal objection to the Viridor planning application, Mid Suffolk argues that the proposed leisure resort is of local, regional, and possibly national importance on account of the considerable economic benefits it would bring, particularly as the region tries to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Mid Suffolk leader Suzie Morley said: “The massive benefits that the development of the SnOasis site would bring are not worth sacrificing for landfill, particularly against the backdrop of a declared climate emergency and our local environmental waste strategy.
“Post-pandemic recovery will rely heavily on the support of the tourism industry, and this is a key objective of the Government. Those benefits would be lost should the Viridor application be approved; the two uses cannot coexist, as the new landowners for the SnOasis development have made abundantly clear.
“The stakes are simply too high for a decision on this application to taken at a local level.”
The promoters of Valley Ridge welcomed the news that Mid Suffolk was opposing the extension of the landfill licence.
Spokesman Simon Padgett said its investment would create 2,100 jobs and bring in nearly £50m to the local economy every year
He added: "Valley Ridge agrees that their new family-friendly premium resort is incompatible with the Viridor landfill application and calls upon all parties including Suffolk CC and government to ensure that the Viridor landfill application is refused."