Snoasis traffic fears voiced

VILLAGERS are worried the new £320million Snoasis winter sports complex earmarked for their community could cause chaos on local roads.Mid Suffolk District Council is considering more than 120,000 pages of documentation supporting the case for the leisure complex to be built on the former Blue Circle cement works in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich.

By John Howard

VILLAGERS are worried the new £320million Snoasis winter sports complex earmarked for their community could cause chaos on local roads.

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering more than 120,000 pages of documentation supporting the case for the leisure complex to be built on the former Blue Circle cement works in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich.

They cover every aspect of the outline proposal for Snoasis - which could create 1,300 jobs - including environmental, transport and sustainability issues.

If approved, the development would include the largest indoor championship ski slope in the world, an outside toboggan run, an ice skating rink, a conference centre, a hotel and a cinema. A separate application has also been lodged with the council for a £5m train station, including a 120-space car park.

But Alan Stovell, Great Blakenham parish councillor and their spokesman for planning issues, said he was keen to see the details of the application.

Most Read

He said: "The impact on the village could be colossal. There could be colossal congestion problems, with 2,000 cars coming and going from the site every day.

"There could be chaos at the level crossing, the barrier is already down for 15 minutes in every 60 at the moment.

"They say there could be 1,300 jobs, but there will probably be a call centre abroad and I have a horrible feeling they will be low paid jobs. We want to know what the benefits to the community are.''

Neil Simmons, clerk to the parish council, said there was cynicism in the village at the proposal and villagers needed more details so they can take informed stances.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director for developers and applicant Onslow Suffolk Ltd, said they had put a lot of work in to the traffic issues.

He said: "We can manage our traffic fairly easily by insisting our residents do not arrive before a certain time, and leave at a certain time, to miss peak times.

"I fully understand people's comments on transport and we are building a new railway station to alleviate a lot of the London traffic and plan hopper buses around the villages and towns to encourage people to leave their cars behind.

"There are always worries, we expect that and take it on board and will try and deal with them. But 98% of comments from people are favourable. There has to be a cost, but we shall try and minimize that as far as we can.''

Council officers said a planning committee is unlikely to meet until September, at the earliest, to discuss the matter.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter