New support for Snoasis plan

A COUNCIL has thrown its weight behind the bid to bring a £320 million winter sports resort to East Anglia. Ipswich Borough Council's planning and development committee agreed to support the plan for SnOasis, which is set to be built in Great Blakenham.

By Mark Heath

A COUNCIL has thrown its weight behind the bid to bring a £320 million winter sports resort to East Anglia.

Ipswich Borough Council's planning and development committee agreed to support the plan for SnOasis, which is set to be built in Great Blakenham.

A council spokesman said: "We've supported it in principle, but there are some issues regarding the details."


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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.

Bosses behind the plan have ridiculed claims they were putting part of the mid Suffolk area at a greater risk of flooding.

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A group of 13 parish councils formed to look into the resort have called on an unnamed "drainage and disposal expert".

The "expert with 40 years of experience" claims ditches surrounding the 350-acre site in Great Blakenham will be unable to cope with the additional waterflow, putting homes at a greater risk of flooding.

But Godfrey Spanner, managing director of developers Onslow Suffolk Ltd, said: "It's inconceivable we would spend this huge amount of money and not address these problems.

"I've got the best engineers in the land who have prepared an initial assessment of this land. Neither they nor the local authority would allow me to flood people who would pay money to come and enjoy my facilities."

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.

n The period for public consultation on the SnOasis planning application has been extended until September 20.

Members of the public can submit their responses to the Planning Department at Mid Suffolk District Council, 131 High Street, Needham Market, IP6 8DL.

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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