SnOasis 'will use county's incinerator'

THE world's first indoor winter sports resort would be partly powered by a controversial waste-burning incinerator, it has been revealed.

Russell Claydon

THE world's first indoor winter sports resort would be partly powered by a controversial waste-burning incinerator, it has been revealed.

Detailed discussions on energy provision are under way between Suffolk County Council and Onslow Suffolk, the developer behind the £350million SnOasis project.

The resort will power itself from its own purpose-built energy from waste facility - which will utilise burning gas at high temperatures - but developers will also seek to pay to use an amount of power from a proposed new incinerator, also set to be located in Great Blakenham.

The developers said most of the six kilowatts of energy needed used to fuel the 350-acre complex would come from landfill, with a coppiced biomass plant also contained within the proposals.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of Onslow Suffolk, assured nearby residents their plant was not another incinerator and the technology they would be using on their own facility produced “practically no residues whatsoever”.

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He said the amount of energy they would negotiate to use from the Suffolk County Council incinerator would be small.

“As far as I am concerned it would be what I need to top it up. It's in very early stages with them (the council) at the moment.

“They don't even know if the chosen contractor, whoever it is going to be, will use that site but there will be a percentage (we use) but there are no commitments from us or them to us at the moment.

“But I would look to take just enough to top up what we are not producing ourselves.”

The multi-million pound SnOasis proposals were given the green light last week - subject to meeting a number of conditions - by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The final decision will come in September.

At a press conference held yesterday the team behind SnOasis said they were “100% sure” the development will be going ahead, despite Mid Suffolk District Council's Green Party claiming the chances were no more than 50%.

“I do not know where they get that from,” said Mr Spanner, when questioned. “We have worked on this for eight years and we have achieved what we knew we would achieve. This has always been going to happen.”

He also promised that there will be no SnOasis without a £17million direct rail link from London Liverpool Street to Great Blakenham, which is forecast to bring in 5-8% of the visitors a year (50-80,000) and would also benefit the local community.

Onslow Suffolk outlined how it was aiming to open SnOasis in the winter of 2011 - in time to accommodate the London Olympics, with the Great Britain team said to be showing great interest in using the facilities in the future.

Gary Sullivan, in charge of logistics for the project, said he thought the construction of the resort would have a very positive impact on the county and its workforce.

“We are absolutely committed that within the normal rules and laws of the land, concerning discrimination, that wherever possible there will be local jobs for local people and that involves local businesses as well.”

He added construction work was anticipated to take between two-and-a-half to three years to complete.

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